Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Julie Morgan's Pasadena YWCA - Day 4 Videoblogging 2010

There are some people that are trying to erase portions of history that they don't like. There are others that are trying desperately to discover what they never have been told. Mainly by the people trying to pretend the other group does not exist.

The Pasadena YWCA building was designed by Julia Morgan. She was the first woman in California to have an architecture license. I did not know that she designed and worked on Hearst Castle/San Simeon as well as having designed and built 700 other buildings.

I volunteered in this building so I have a small, tiny connection to it. It was a place of overstuffed couches and long tables. It it where I saw a proto-version of the world wide web (It didn't work very well if at all.) The steps creaked and the noise of children was a constant reminder not to take life so seriously.

I remembered I hated going to the bathroom. It was so small. It might have been a latter day retro-fit but it was creepy especially at night.

Other than that it was a place where women came with their children to find work, exercise, have a bit of community and that is in addition to all the other YWCA stuff.

Because of the earthquakes and the cost of rehabilitation the building had to be closed. Once in a while there would be an art exhibit but I don't think they even do that any more.

Last I heard the city is about ready to tear it down. So goes another piece of womenfolk's history.

More on Julie Morgan:

California Museum Hall of Fame Inductee Page

Julia Morgan.org

California State Polytechnic University Special Library Collection on Julia Morgan


  1. Nicely done. Another moment captured and available to everyone. I love it!

  2. Your posts are unique! I'm introduced to things I didn't know I needed to know. Thanks for this pointer to an accomplished woman architect. Am I correct that she was working as a peer of Frank Lloyd Wright? This building would have been designed after his Prairie Period. Were they connected in any way, do you know? Thanks for this.

  3. Nance I don't think she did work with FLW. From what I read she apprenticed under John Galen Howard and then she was on her own.

    Fascinating person considering she worked with William Randolf Hearst who was not the shy retiring type of guy. She had to have moxie.