Julia Morgan, FAIA, (1872-1957)


Julia Morgan becomes the first female to receive the AIA Gold Medal 


St. John’s Presbyterian Church; Berkeley, CA (1908-1916) / Julia Morgan. Image courtesy of Mark Anthony Wilson; Julia Morgan, Architect of Beauty

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced their decision to posthumously award the 2014  to Julia Morgan, FAIA, “whose extensive body of work has served as an inspiration to a generation of female architects.”

The AIA Gold Medal, voted on annually, is considered the profession’s highest honor an individual can receive. The Gold Medal honors those whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Morgan’s legacy will be honored at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

As the AIA described in a press release, “What stands out most is the vast array of architectural styles [Morgan] employed: Tudor and Georgian houses, Romanesque Revival churches, and Spanish Colonial country estates with an Islamic tinge. Her late-period Beaux-Arts education gave her the ability to design in these historic styles, gathering up motifs and methods from all of Western architectural history to select the approach most appropriate for each unique site and context.”


Asilomar YWCA; Pacific Heights, CA (1913-1928) / Julia Morgan. Image courtesy of Joel Puliatti; Julia Morgan, Architect of Beauty

“She designed buildings to fit her clients, blending design strategy with structural articulation in a way that was expressive and contextual, leaving us a legacy of treasures that were as revered when she created them as they are cherished today,” wrote AIA Gold Medalist Michael Graves, FAIA, in a recommendation letter.

Morgan’s legacy will be honored at the AIA  and Design Exposition in Chicago. Read the AIA’s complete biography of Morgan here.











Rosenfield, Karissa. “Julia Morgan Awarded 2014 AIA Gold Medal” 12 Dec 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 13 Dec 2013. <>