10: Work for Berkeley Campus

Morgan designed very little for the University of California, Berkeley despite it being her Alma Mater and the fact that she worked in the office of campus architect John Galen Howard. She worked closely with Bernard Maybeck on the design of the mammoth Hearst Memorial Complex, but small Girton Hall was a solo design. Constructed in 1911, it was intended to be a meeting space for female upperclassmen. The students raised the funds for this building themselves, and were greatly assisted by Morgan donating her services, as Howard had donated his when building the log cabin Senior Mens Hall. Girton Hall was originally sited about 160 feet east of its current location, but was moved in 1946 to make room for the Chemistry Department.[1] Since 1969, it has been used as a childcare facility for students, staff and faculty. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the State Historic Resources Inventory, and is a City of Berkeley Landmark.

Listed in the same historic inventories is the Hearst Memorial Gymnasium for Women.  The original Hearst Hall had served the function of a gymnasium space for women, and also a grand reception space. However, when that building, designed by Maybeck, burned in 1922, William Randolph Hearst decided to build a grand new gymnasium/auditorium/museum complex (fireproof, of course) to memorialize his mother Phoebe, who had died in 1919. Maybeck originally had the commission to design the new memorial gym, but required help to plan and design functional interiors.[2] Following approval, Hearst notified the Regents that he lacked funds for the rest of the complex. Thus, the gymnasium, finished in 1927, was the only part built. Morgan’s office prepared the working drawings, and she was responsible for on-site construction supervision.[3] No doubt her expertise in swimming pools (from building for the YWCA) was central to the successful completion of this project, where students, staff, and faculty still swim today.


[1] Helfand, Harry, The Campus Guide: University of California, Berkeley, Princeton Architectural press, New York, 2002, p 229.

[2] Helfand, 206-07

[3] Helfand, 209.