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"Women who build": Julia Morgan & Women's Institutions.


In 1922, Elsa Black, president of the Woman's Athletic Club of San Francisco, declared that her club's building stood as a testament to the "courage, valor, determination, business ability, integrity, optimism ... romance ... [and] feminine foresight" of "women who build." (1) Since the late nineteenth century, California women had been shaping the built environment and using it as a path to power. (2) This network of generally affluent white women was instrumental in creating urban parks, schools, hospitals, orphanages, and charitable organizations that particularly targeted underprivileged women and children.

The same women also founded exclusive social and cultural clubs that provided extradomestic opportunities for women. As with similar organizations throughout the country, these institutions served as sites of female empowerment and gender consciousness; as places where class, ethnic, and racial conflicts played out; or as mechanisms through which some women generated power in numbers and, consequently, acquired an influential voice in City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce. All of these institutions allowed women to reimagine their place in the urban landscape and forge public roles in society.

For the most part, women built this nineteenth-century landscape incrementally; they bought property with preexisting structures--often domestic buildings of various sizes--then adapted the structures to new uses. By the turn of the century, many of these accommodations proved too small and inadequate for their intended purposes. Frequently, their quarters were relocated or expanded, either through additions or by occupying multiple buildings, often creating an inefficient, decentralized network. The transitory nature of this situation lent an air of impermanence, however highly respected the institution might be. As the Progressive Era dawned, interest in centralized organization, efficiency, urban planning, and architecture took hold in the state and around the country. Women increasingly looked to modernize and expand their buildings and claim a permanent presence in the landscape. They engaged in both relatively large- and small-scale architectural developments. They became "women who build." (3)


Between 1900 and 1930, many women's organizations in California and elsewhere created new buildings to serve their causes. This relatively brief foray into a traditionally masculine activity addressed several goals of the women's movement--broadly defined as organized efforts to redefine the boundaries of feminine propriety and women's rights; raise awareness for concerns that particularly affected women; assert women's influence across a wide spectrum of social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual issues; and achieve a greater level of independence from and equality with men. Suffrage was the most popular cause that women espoused, but they also promoted public education for children, higher education for women, job training and access, and addressed such issues as child welfare and juvenile delinquency, health and sanitation, environmentalism, public space and urban development, and labor reform.

Elite white women dominate this particular story of the California women's movement. By and large, they did not question the class and racial hierarchy in California or the nation, but as their buildings reveal, shifting relations of power allowed some ethnic minorities to assert their own goals, values, and cultural identities by the late 1920s. The long building campaigns (fundraising drives) and high level of publicity that these projects necessitated accelerated the ability of women's organizations to redefine their contributions to society beyond the maternalist rhetoric that dominated this era. In form and style, the buildings reinforced these modern notions of womanhood and subtly critiqued dominant gender expectations. Most still stand, leaving--as this essay suggests--a permanent imprint in the urban landscape thus far undervalued by historians as a rich resource for exploring the complexity and legacy of Progressive Era women's activism.

California women were not alone in their building programs, but the built environment they created stands out for one singular reason: the architect Julia Morgan. Born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, she was one of the first female graduates in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (1894), the first woman to gain admission to and earn a certificate from the architecture program at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1898-1902), the first woman to acquire an architectural license in California (1904), one of few women in the country to head her own architectural practice, and the nation's most prolific woman architect. She was an icon of the New Woman: a highly educated, independent, and single woman successfully pursuing a traditionally masculine career.

It was this reputation that led Marion Ransome, a dean at Mills College, to favor Morgan as architect of the college's alumnae house. "Being a woman's movement," she explained to Aurelia Reinhardt, president of that East Bay women's institution, "Miss Morgan, the best woman architect in the state, should do the work." (4) And while Morgan was not the only woman who designed buildings for women's organizations (nor did only women design such buildings), she likely designed more buildings for women's organizations than any other architect in the country. Her oeuvre thus provides the most expansive body of architecture designed of, by, and for women, resulting in a rich source base for exploring feminism from a spatial perspective. (5)


Julia Morgan was born in San Francisco in 1872 and raised across the bay in Oakland. Her parents, Charles Bill and Eliza Parmelee Morgan, descended from prominent East Coast families. War heroes, wealthy business leaders, and powerful politicians dominated Charles's family tree. Strapped with the burden of this legacy, he arrived in California in 1865 to seek his own fortune in oil speculation. He failed. (6) It was Eliza who secured the family fortune. Her father, a self-made millionaire, provided financial assistance to make sure his daughter lived more than comfortably. Upon his death in 1880, Eliza used her substantial inheritance to build the finest Queen Anne house on one of Oakland's finest streets in one of the city's best neighborhoods. Her mother and her mother's fortune soon moved in with the family. Thus, while Charles remained the public figurehead of patriarchal authority according to Victorian gender codes, his daughter grew up in a household where social status was essential and women provided the means to achieve it. (7)

College introduced Morgan to the California women's network. She enrolled at UC Berkeley in 1890 to study civil engineering and graduated in 1894. (8) She and her cohort established the university's first real women's culture. They founded a chapter of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), organized several sports teams, and successfully fought for access to the gymnasium. Most importantly for Morgan, they chartered the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Characterized by academic excellence and exclusivity, it attracted a group of women who were particularly supportive of intellectual pursuits and who were affluent, well-connected members of society. The sorority hosted social events, including teas with professors' wives and influential society women. Phoebe Apperson Hearst, the wealthy philanthropist and widow of Senator George Hearst who invested heavily in women and higher education at the University of California in particular, may have attended some of these events. She later became one of Morgan's most important clients. The sorority also built a house, where Morgan lived. While most university women resided at home, dividing their attention between familial matters and academic work, Morgan had the opportunity to focus almost exclusively on her academic work. At Berkeley, she gained an education in engineering as well as social networking and institution building. She also broke away from the confines of Victorian domesticity toward a more independent life. (9)


In 1896, Morgan sailed for France to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, then considered the most prestigious art and architectural school in the world. Her education encompassed far more than the art and science of designing and constructing buildings. Thanks to the efforts of a unionized group of women artists, with whom Morgan associated and referred to as "bohemian," the Ecole opened courses to women during the summer of 1896. Degree programs, however, remained inaccessible. That changed in 1897, when the institution finally offered its highly competitive entrance examinations to women. Morgan failed the examinations three times, at least once for legitimate errors and once, she was told, because she was a woman. In the face of such injustice, she vowed to compete in the examinations every time they were held before her thirtieth birthday, when all students were required to leave the Ecole, or until she passed, whichever came first. She now understood her personal quest to be educated as part of a much larger contest for women's rights, and she would not be discouraged.

Unfortunately, no architectural atelier would accept Morgan into its masculine world of design, debate, and revelry. During the summer of 1898, however, Francois-Benjamin Chaussemiche, recipient of the Ecole's highest honor, the Grand Prix de Rome, became Morgan's mentor. A few months later, Morgan passed the examinations. She was nearly twenty-seven years old, leaving just over three years to complete a curriculum that took the average student twice as long. Evidence suggests that the Ecole's administration prevented Morgan from pursuing a diplome, the highest degree awarded to international students, but she secured a certificat d'architecture, the second highest degree, before the doors closed on her in February 1902. In Paris, Morgan received formal architectural training, discovered a feminist consciousness, and endured constant reminders of the formidable challenges she faced as a woman entering a steadfastly male-dominated profession. (10)

Later that year, Morgan launched her pathbreaking architectural career. Her reputation had preceded her. Newspapers in Paris, London, and the United States--especially the Bay Area--had followed her progress in Paris closely, and friends and family lined up to hire her to design their homes. Within weeks of her return to California, she accepted a position in the offices of John Galen Howard, architect for the new Berkeley campus, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece. Under Howard's tutelage, she worked on the Hearst Mining Building, was almost solely responsible for the Greek Theatre, and created the preliminary designs for Sather Gate, which demarcated the university's southern entrance. She also quickly surmised that she would be underpaid and officially unrecognized for her work, which would become increasingly narrow in focus, if she remained in Howard's office. (11)

In 1904, after saving enough money from her work in Howard's office and generating publicity through a few key side projects, Morgan acquired her California architectural license and opened an atelier of her own. She immediately won the patronage of Phoebe Hearst and Mills College. The San Francisco earthquake and fires of 1906 further presented her with opportunities to build a prolific and prestigious practice, particularly when she received the commission to rebuild the Fairmont, a luxury hotel on Nob Hill designed by James and Merritt Reid, a prominent San Francisco architecture firm. She soon developed a reputation for listening intently to her clients' needs and desires. She was generous to her employees and mentored them closely (though some would say suffocated them). Laborers and artisans had only respect for her. She paid close attention to detail, employed the most modern building technologies, and always demanded high-quality work. These attributes sustained her practice for the next forty years.

Over the course of her career, Morgan designed nearly 100 buildings for women's organizations in California and beyond. In 1903, Mills College offered Morgan her first commission for a women's organization and retained her as its unofficial architect for twenty years. In 1929, the Berkeley Women's City Club hired her for one of her last commissions for a women's organization. In between, she designed dozens of cultural, social, and civic clubs for women; social, academic, residential, and recreational buildings for college and university women and unmarried working women; primary schools and orphanages for boys and girls; and hospitals, sanitariums, and nursing residences. And between 1912 and 1930, she designed more than thirty buildings in at least seventeen locations for the YWCA, one of the nation's largest and most influential women's organizations. (12)

Morgan lost money on many of these projects, but she kept accepting them. In 1918, for example, the national board of the YWCA donated $20,000 from its War Work Council funds to build a recreation center in Vallejo. Members of the Vallejo YWCA approved plans for a building that cost $24,655 but did not organize a building campaign, leaving the project short of funds. To keep the commission, and despite a contracting debacle, Morgan pared down the building costs as much as she could and charged a lower commission, which she agreed to base on the $20,000 budget rather than on the actual cost of the building. She lost the modern equivalent of over $10,000. For many women's commissions, she donated her labor altogether. She also regularly contributed decorative objects. Morgan never explained her motives, but such anecdotes suggest that she was not simply a passive beneficiary of a niche market. Like so many of her clients, she was an activist, engaged in designing a new landscape that helped at least some women to redefine the boundaries of propriety and to lead a number of campaigns for Progressive Era causes. (13)



Building programs of the early twentieth century required a level of capital expenditure that drew women's organizations into the public arena more prominently than ever before. Building campaigns were the means through which women's organizations raised the money for their projects, but they also provided an opportunity for the women to redefine and modernize their place in the public sphere. Efforts to educate the public about their building programs, combined with a bit of pageantry, a lot of ambition, and persuasive use of booster rhetoric and the media, were not simply useful to these women's causes; they were essential to the vitality of the women's movement.

Since membership dues and privately solicited donations, which traditionally sustained the budgets of most women's organizations, could not generate the revenue necessary to construct a building, women's organizations engaged in a number of highly publicized activities to raise capital--sometimes for the first time. Throughout the state, they offered moonlight rides, sold chocolates, olive oil, and handmade arts and crafts items, hosted breakfasts, staged fashion shows, held raffles, organized dances, earned proceeds from local circus and minstrel shows, and planned automobile trips and picnics. They mailed circulars with self-addressed return envelopes and a token thank-you gift and by the 1920s offered stock certificates, the newest entry in the fundraising repertoire. (14)

Building campaigns often occurred over the course of several years and always appeared in local newspapers, assuring a steady stream of free publicity. They also fostered a sense of inclusiveness, for an organization could boast contributions of hundreds and sometimes thousands of individuals--both rich and poor--in the creation of a new building. Thus women's organizations were not only constructing buildings, they also were building communities. This democratic approach to fundraising, steeped in nineteenth-century precedent, allowed women to retain their image as selfless activists for social causes and differentiated their investment in the urban landscape from the sheer capitalist enterprises of most building programs spearheaded by men. (15)

At the same time, organized women of California presented their building activities as entirely modern. Most commonly, they used building campaigns as an opportunity to explain women's contributions to urban growth, economic prosperity, and city beautification. Touted as "one of the largest association buildings in the west," for example, Oakland's Italian Renaissance-style YWCA building would be a "triumph of art" and could help the city in its efforts to emerge from the shadow of San Francisco. Publicity articles for the building also emphasized its cost, underscoring both the property value it would add to the city and--with a required a labor force of fifty men as well as thirty contracts to various companies in the building trades--its contribution to job creation and business growth. (16)

For their building campaign, leaders of the Berkeley Women's City Club similarly emphasized their club's long-term role in boosting the local economy. With its dining room, auditorium, theater, leisure facilities, hair salon, and retail spaces, the building would entice Berkeley women to shop locally while attracting women from outside Berkeley to shop in the city. In addition, the club's day-to-day maintenance and operation would require a significant workforce, which would generate jobs and create a demand for more consumer products, including food, clothing, and local housing. (17) Such arguments appealed to major donors; while hundreds or thousands of individuals did, indeed, contribute to building campaigns, realization of the new buildings more often than not depended on the generosity of a few wealthy individuals who were deeply invested in local, regional, and state economic and political affairs.

Morgan brought "star power" and expertise to these all-female building enterprises. With the press documenting her achievements from the moment she boarded the ship for France, organizations that hired her--and most were quick to note in early press releases that Morgan was their architect--thus associated themselves with a model of modern womanhood. But Morgan was more than an icon. She was a respected professional. Newspapers published elevations of buildings that she designed, an editorial decision usually reserved for those projects and architects deemed particularly noteworthy for their contributions to the built environment. Such media attention was a boon to any building campaign. It elevated the project's prestige and facilitated fundraising efforts.

The importance of these building campaigns becomes particularly clear when examining the future of groups that did not embark upon them, including the aforementioned Vallejo YWCA. Lacking the educational experience of conducting a building campaign, the Vallejo YWCA had difficulty getting off the ground, let alone expanding its program. Despite lengthy negotiations among the stakeholders, Morgan's commission fees still "came as a total surprise" to the local association, and the bill was paid by the Pacific Coast Field Committee, the regional branch of the national organization. (18)

Similarly, the San Pedro YWCA, designed by Morgan and built in 1918, was denied a loan to expand its buildings and activities in 1926. A representative from the board of the national organization--the YWCA of the United States of America (YWCA of the USA)--reported on this subject, noting specifically that "there is little education of the community on giving to the Association." Because the women of San Pedro did not implement a building campaign and benefit from its accompanying publicity, banks perceived their building as a gift, not as a testament to the association's financial solvency or a manifestation of the important contribution women's work made to the city. (19)

Having begun as Hostess Houses during World War I--which provided food, shelter, and recreational facilities for the rapidly increasing number of women employed in industrial jobs that had been abandoned by men who enlisted in the military, or for those who found work on or near military bases--both the Vallejo and San Pedro associations failed to acquire the expertise necessary to demonstrate community support of their work to investors and donors. Subsequently, they could not grow their facilities and activities. (20)


With funds in hand, architect secured, and design agreed upon, organizations finally could set about constructing their new buildings. The buildings varied in style, size, and plan according to location, site, function, and budget. In keeping with public and commercial architecture norms of the day, the buildings were generally wood-frame or reinforced concrete structures in the Mission, Renaissance, Spanish Colonial, Tudor, Gothic, or Classical Revival styles. Morgan often combined elements from several of these traditions, creating a more generic Italianate or Mediterranean style. Particularly if budgets were tight, she worked in the Bay Tradition style, a regional variation on the Arts and Crafts aesthetic characterized by wood-shingle roofs with wide-eave overhangs, unpainted wood exteriors and interiors, klinker brick or stone elements (such as chimneys or porch columns), and minimal ornamentation. Subtly critical of the status quo in their design, Morgan's buildings celebrated women's changing roles in the twentieth-century landscape.

Of the many buildings Morgan designed for women's organizations, three--the Mills College campanile, the Riverside YWCA, and the Berkeley Women's City Club--illustrate how white women defined modern womanhood and infused the built environment with feminine, if not always feminist, values.


Mills College presented Morgan with one of her first and most important commissions: a campanile sensitive to the college's history, yet signaling the institution's transition from an almost obsolete frontier finishing school to a leading women's college of the twentieth century. Mills College was founded as the Young Ladies' Seminary in Benicia in 1852, during the height of California's unsettled Gold Rush years. Cyrus and Susan Mills, East Coast-educated missionaries who had served in Sri Lanka and Hawaii, took over the seminary in 1871 and moved it five miles outside of incorporated Oakland. From the outset, they sought to build a college that rivaled East Coast women's colleges, and in 1885 the state of California granted the seminary a college charter, making it the only women's college on the Pacific Coast. (21)


Mills College gained significant prestige, but by the turn of the century the school found itself vulnerable to the rapid rise of coeducation in the Bay Area. The University of California, just a few miles north in Berkeley, and Stanford University, about forty miles south near Palo Alto, were building grand campuses and prestigious departments, offering low-cost or free tuition, and attracting young women in unprecedented numbers. (22) In response, Mills College embarked on its own building program, beginning with the country's first freestanding campanile.

Morgan designed a 72-foot-tall Spanish Mission-style tower among the California oaks at the southeastern edge of the oval driveway in front of Seminary Hall, the original campus building. The front and back measured twice as wide as the sides, and a series of low-pitched red tile roofs created colorful contrast to the drab concrete. The award-winning bronze bells, cast originally for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and rung a year later at San Francisco's California Midwinter International Exposition, were housed in seven arched openings that pierced the concrete walls. On the primary facade of the campanile, surrounded by the chimes, hung a blue-and-gold clock. A massive wooden door, whose nails and lock came from an old Spanish church in Mexico, created an imposing entrance. Morgan also designed twenty-eight earthenware jars fashioned after those at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Home for southern California flora such as cacti and yucca, these jars sat atop a low wall at the edge of a broad walk surrounding the tower. (23) In April 1904, El Campanil, as the tower was named, was unveiled with more fanfare, praise, and public attention than any Mills campus structure in its history.

The campanile's Mission style distinguished Mills clearly from its competition. Unlike Berkeley's Beaux-Arts architecture or Stanford's Richardsonian Romanesque buildings, it reflected only California and Mills College history. Alluding to the state's religious origins, it celebrated the school's half-century commitment to a Christian education on the Pacific Coast. And the style recalled the institution's early days, when the Spanish missions offered some of the state's only permanent architecture; by selecting it for the campanile, Mills College symbolically reinforced its status as one of the oldest educational institutions on the West Coast.

Housed individually and in plain view, the ten bells marked the passage of every hour with the familiar Westminster chime, offering a note of Anglo-Saxon continuity and tradition to the majority of people who populated the region. Susan Mills further emphasized the institution's Christian mission--and her conservative values--by naming the bells after the graces of the spirit, as written in Saint Paul's letter to the Galatians. Faith, Hope, Peace, and Joy chimed every hour, thus becoming the most regular sentiments emanating from the campus to its East Bay neighbors. Love was the largest bell; Meekness, the smallest and least often rung; Gentleness, Self Control, Longing, and Suffering completed the set. (24) These names also typified nineteenth-century notions of femininity, assuaging any fears that Mills College would plant the seeds for social rupture by offering young women access to higher education. On the contrary, in its education of women, Mills College would help preserve the moral stability of a rapidly urbanizing region. (25)


As much as El Campanil stood as a nostalgic emblem to the college's long history and Christian foundations, so too did it signal the institution's commitment to twentieth-century progress and change. With its choice of architect, Mills could boast that it stood at the cutting edge of regional expressionism in architecture and employed only the best-trained architects. Morgan's selection suggested that the school no longer aimed simply to provide young women with "good home training, teaching them to care for the wardrobes, their rooms, to wait upon themselves--in short training them as daughters should be in a good home," as Susan Mills had written to Phoebe Hearst; it also clearly supported women pioneers in male-dominated professions. (26)

Additionally, the campanile's design touted the college's embrace of California's role in the new empire. Though the missions had been part of the architecture of the Spanish empire in North America, by appropriating their design Mills joined its Bay Area neighbors in suggesting that Europe's old imperial powers must give way to America's manifest destiny. The lock and nails acquired from a Mexican Spanish church literally linked the school to the old empire, reiterated the transfer of power to America, and prepared Mills to play a key role in building the new empire further. Using architecture to emphasize its role in shaping the California landscape, the college demonstrated that it would not define itself by East Coast or European standards of excellence.

One speaker at the dedication ceremonies proclaimed, "So perfectly does [the campanile] blend in line and color with the surrounding trees and lawn that we already feel as if somehow the tower had always stood here and was today but rediscovered." (27) This bell tower symbolized the school's permanent presence in the California landscape. And through the southern California flora that grew in its earthenware jars, it proclaimed that the college's influence reached far beyond the boundaries of the Bay Area and ensured a space for Mills at the center of the Golden State's intellectual leadership. In the collaboration between the college and Julia Morgan, this single structure spoke volumes about the past, present, and future role(s) of women in California.


By the time the board women of the Riverside YWCA embarked on a building campaign in the late 1920s, the YWCA was a well-known and highly respected institution in the state and in national and international landscapes. Begun in England in 1855, the YWCA established its presence in United States with the founding of the Ladies' Christian Association in New York City in 1858. Boston became the first city to adopt the YWCA moniker in 1866, and the organization arrived in California in 1876 when Frank Browne founded the Oakland YWCA.

From the outset, the YWCA embraced a Christian mission: to provide shelter and moral uplift for single working women arriving in the city from the country, abroad, or the familial home. As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, the organization's moral and evangelical tone became more secular. Job training and placement programs, language courses, cafeteria services, and sports and recreation dominated its modern agenda. So vast had the YWCA's network become by the twentieth century that a national organization, the YWCA of the USA, was formed in New York City in 1906 to standardize programs across the country, oversee their proper implementation, and manage allocation of certain funds. The national board ran this umbrella organization, while regional field committees monitored the local associations to assure they conformed to the national organization's rules, regulations, and mission. California's local associations fell under the authority of the Pacific Coast Field Committee. In some cases, as in San Francisco, a metropolitan region hosted multiple local associations, which came under the purview of a citywide central board. (28)


While in reality YWCAs were contested and dynamic sites of power, class, and ethnic relations, they symbolized the increasingly diverse roles that women played in the urban landscape as workers, policy developers, and educators in the public sphere. In fact, YWCA buildings became one of the most commonly recognized urban spaces for women in the country, including California cities, and the buildings stood as idealized monuments to noble womanhood. In their copious publicity for the new YWCA building at Seventh and Lime Streets, Riverside women were quick to build on these ideas. They remarked that the new building would be an important asset to the city's Civic Center because of the services it would provide and because it was designed by the national expert in YWCA buildings, who was also the architect of media mogul William Randolph Hearst's lavish estate near San Simeon. They also linked the project to a transnational movement that aimed to unite all women in a common effort to create a more abundant life for their gender. And, above all, the building was a manifestation of women's leadership, defined by the association as "the modern trend of the time.... [Every woman] must choose her way and have conviction which will help her to form a platform for progress with other women." (29)

This emphasis on leadership and making choices is all the more significant given the organization's contentious dealings with prominent businessman Frank Miller, whom one local historian described as "having the power to make or mar any civic or private enterprise." (30) Miller envisioned a city unified aesthetically by Mission Revival architecture, showcased by his ornate and sprawling Mission Inn. Recognizing potential value in the YWCA building toward this urban development scheme, he persuaded the organization to build on a large parcel adjacent to the recently completed Municipal Auditorium and Soldiers' Memorial Hall and offered to subsidize its purchase. Miller specified that the design follow the modified Mission Revival style of the Municipal Auditorium which featured a monumental staircase leading to arched doorways separated by Corinthian pilasters, a star-shaped window at the center of the facade, a shaped parapet topped by an eagle perched on a shield, towers with tiled dome roofs, and a sheltered colonnade that ran the length of the northwest side of the building. He also proposed that the building connect directly to the auditorium to facilitate YWCA women in their roles as hostesses at auditorium events. Miller disapproved of Morgan and her plan to include a pool in the building's design. (31)

Within this context, the Riverside YWCA gains significance as a manifestation of women's leadership and rejection of male authority. Built of reinforced concrete, it fits harmoniously into the landscape but is stark and modern compared with the eclectic Mission Inn down the street or the adjacent Municipal Auditorium. It combines Italianate and Spanish Colonial styles in simple forms: rectangular in plan with asymmetrical massing, multiple gables, and a terra-cotta tile roof. The entrance, located off center, features simple, wood-frame, multi-lite glass doors flanked on either side by plain pilasters and topped by a broken arched pediment with a finial in the center. Large urns top the balustrades on either side of the entrance steps. Multi-lite arched windows with keystones puncture the groundfloor walls, while two open loggia with slanted tile-clad roofs supported by simple rounded columns occupy the second story. Other decorative elements include medallions in the gables, a wrought-iron balcony, quoins, and finials.

From its single-story, flat-roofed northwest end in the shadow of the Municipal Auditorium, the Riverside YWCA grows progressively higher as it moves farther from the auditorium, culminating in the massive three-story gable that housed the swimming pool Frank Miller opposed but which a membership survey revealed to be among the building's most important attributes. The pool's inclusion assured that the building conformed to members' programmatic needs and aesthetic preferences rather than the visions of male business and political leaders. While Morgan's design created balance with the auditorium, it also clearly differentiated the women's building from its neighbors, helping Riverside women to assert an independent voice in local urban development.


One of Morgan's last commissions for the California women's movement, the Berkeley Women's City Club, was created in response to challenges that women's clubs faced by the late 1920s. Collecting funds for the construction of club houses was one issue that many organizations skillfully had surmounted, but taxes, upkeep, service, repairs, and incidental expenses created constant financial difficulties that membership dues alone could not remedy. As their buildings proliferated, moreover, competition increased among clubs, which further strained financial resources. The buildings that had brought so much attention to women's activities and had created the geographical and spatial landscape for modern womanhood to flourish now were cash drains. In response to these developments, and to the successful rise of women's city clubs in other parts of the state and country, Olga Beebe, chief accountant of the American Trust Company in Berkeley, devised a plan in 125 for a modern women's club in Berkeley that would provide facilities for numerous individual clubs; housing for single women; and social, cultural, recreational, and retail spaces. The new club was to be "financed and operated on a sound business basis." With fiscal matters managed by professionals, individual clubs once again could concentrate on their intended interests. (32)

The Berkeley Women's City Club opened its doors in 1930. Like many of Morgan's commissions, it made a bold statement about the status of women. The club directors purchased two adjacent lots on the largely residential Durant Street one block south of the University of California's track and baseball fields. As Julian C. Mesic, a model maker and architect who often worked for Morgan at the time, noted, the location was appropriate for a partly residential facility. (33) It reflected conservative ideas about women's domestic roles and kept them separated from the world of politics and commerce, even as women were claiming new spaces in these two arenas. With two sizable churches on the block and Berkeley's First Congregational Church across the street, the site evoked traditional values and women's moral virtue.



Like the Riverside YWCA, Morgan's Romanesque and Gothic design complemented the surrounding built environment. It drew upon castles, cathedrals, cloisters, and skyscrapers: the quatrefoils in the towers and the arched entryway, with its tendrils, rosettes, shields, and flowered capitals; the vaulted ceiling and archways of the front hall and main staircase; gargoyles holding shields; the open loggia flanking the interior courts; and the machicolations and corbels above the entrance and below the top floor. At six stories, the City Club was the tallest building on the block--hardly a skyscraper but tending toward tall building construction. Yet despite these old-world architectural elements, rebar doubles as structural reinforcement and decoration in the arches over the pool, literally exposing the modern technology that made the building possible. Indeed, the architect and engineer Walter Steilberg, who worked with Morgan, cited this building--which Mesic called "symbolic of the changed status of women and their broadening outlook"--as the most complicated engineering problem of his long career and, as of 1976, probably "the most complicated concrete structure in this part of the country." (34)

Morgan and the City Club women explicitly appropriated the historic architecture of religious, political, and financial institutions--the architecture of male power. But the building also included such details as rosettes in the entrance archway and a bas relief for the fuchsia court of three dancing young women with bobbed hair (designed by divorcee and railroad heiress Clara Huntington Perkins), consciously feminizing the building types and claiming the space as one for modern women. (35)


Morgan's work for Chinese communities in the Bay Area has left a particularly rich record for exploring some of the ethnic tensions in the women's movement. Five projects are directly and indirectly related to the Chinese: a house for Rose and Joseph Shoong, the founder of the National Dollar Stores and once among the wealthiest Chinese Americans in the country; the Methodist Chinese Mission in San Francisco, or Gum Moon; and several buildings for Angel Island Immigration Station, a site now synonymous with loneliness, isolation, and devastating hardship experienced by Chinese immigrants during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act. The remaining two projects--the Ming Quong Home for Girls near Mills College and the Chinatown YWCA in San Francisco--expose very different stories about ethnic relations within the California women's movement of the Progressive Era.

Ming Quong Home for Girls

That racial tension was manifest in the creation of the Ming Quong Home for Girls in Oakland, near Mills College, is evident in the contrasting goals of Donaldina Cameron and Aurelia Reinhardt, leaders of influential and celebrated institutions. Raised in southern California, Cameron broke off her marriage engagement to pursue her life's work: In 1899, she commenced her long tenure as leader of the Presbyterian Mission House in San Francisco's Chinatown, becoming a local legend and sometimes controversial figure for her crusade against the exploitation of women and children in brothels and opium dens. The mission sheltered women and children; schooled them in English, Victorian morality, Christianity, and job skills; offered marriage counseling; and intervened in immigration issues. (36) Reinhardt, who was born in San Francisco and graduated from the University of California before pursuing a doctorate in English from Yale University, found success in academia before marrying and raising children. Widowhood compelled her to return to academia in 1914. Two years later, she was elected president of Mills College and introduced ambitious plans to transform it into a rival of Vassar, Wellesley, and other prestigious East Coast women's colleges and universities.

Reinhardt, also a member and eventual chair of Oakland's Chamber of Commerce City Planning Committee, tied her ambitions for Mills College to those of the city of Oakland and its development. Wanting to build a world-class campus, she persuaded Phoebe Hearst to commission Bernard Maybeck to design a grand new scheme for the women's college. His vision included several monumental, Classical-style buildings as well as a boulevard along the East Bay hills, from the Claremont Hotel at the Oakland-Berkeley border to the eastern edge of the campus. Members of the City Council and Chamber of Commerce were also interested in rezoning the area immediately surrounding the college for a business district and in reconfiguring the streets to showcase the college's entrance. All of these plans were intended to make Mills College for Oakland what the University of California was for Berkeley: a destination along the local tourist circuit and an intellectual and cultural anchor for a neighborhood that attracted the most desirable residents, businesses, and merchants. (37)

Meanwhile, Cameron and the mission board were looking for a suitable location to build a new orphanage. The building at 920 Sacramento Street (now the Donaldina Cameron House) suffered from chronic overcrowding, and Cameron had never been satisfied with what she described as its cell-like quality. In 1915, the Tooker Memorial Home for Chinese Girls and Children opened in Oakland's Chinatown to relieve the San Francisco quarters of its youngest inhabitants, but it also proved too small and dilapidated. When shipping magnate Robert Dollar, who had a longtime interest in the mission, donated land adjacent to Mills College to the mission board in 1918, a permanent home devoted solely to children finally was built. The $125,000 building for sixty-five girls opened in December 1925. It was named Ming Quong, or "radiant light."

As with her other projects, Morgan's creation addressed her client's needs while responding to the preexisting environment. She designed a U-shaped, painted reinforced concrete building of two stories plus a basement, with a red-day tile gable roof and teal-blue wide-eave overhangs. Multi-lite, wood-frame casement windows abound on every elevation, allowing natural light to flood all the rooms. The building features many Chinese cultural references, including a pailu, or traditional Chinese gateway, which lends monumentality to the structure. Chinese Foo dogs sit atop the pailu, guarding the entrance and courtyard and flanking a large lotus flower leaf, a symbol of purity. A low balustrade with raised panels and Chinese finials partially encloses the courtyard. The north and south elevations also have decorative molded archways that echo the main pailu. Other cultural references include glazed blue, brown, and green punched tiles from China, which break up the monotony of the frieze. Large flower boxes with decorative raised panels, carved brackets, and Chinese finials hang below the second-story windows overlooking the courtyard and part of the north and south elevations.

Despite these explicit Chinese references, the building fits harmoniously with the adjacent Mills College campus and its variety of Mediterranean-style buildings, many of which Morgan also designed. As such, an alumnus who visited the campus during the fall of 1925 mistook Ming Quong for a long-awaited memorial hall dedicated to education activist Ethel Moore, which Morgan also designed and whose funding Aurelia Reinhardt struggled to raise. (38)

Publicly and professionally, Reinhardt applauded Cameron and her new building. She even attended events at Ming Quong in support of improving Chinese and Anglo-Saxon American relations. Behind the scenes, however, she had engaged in vigorous efforts to stop the construction of the orphanage. Believing that the "Chinese Institute" would sink the district immediately adjacent to Mills College to "the lowest class possible," she requested to speak to the Board of Health about issues that adversely affected Mills in the nearby development, considered submitting a petition to zone the land to bar the orphanage, tried to persuade the mission board that the site would not suit its purposes, and sought to convince the college to purchase the land from the mission board. These efforts (concurrent with attempts to remove an African American school from the vicinity and "whiten" the community for development) ultimately failed, but Reinhardt did secure one mitigating measure to minimize the orphanage's perceived adverse effects: a row of pine trees that still stand along MacArthur Boulevard. (39) The trees hid the orphanage from visitors as they approached the college, which was careful to place its gates to the east of the orphanage's entrance.

Cameron and Reinhardt represent two elements of the movement to enhance women's place in California and broaden their opportunities outside the home. The stories behind Ming Quong and Mills College, however, reveal the continued racism and elitism that marked the women's movement, assuring affluent white women the greatest opportunity to pursue higher education, professional development, and a role in policy making or other fields across an increasingly broad spectrum of causes.


Chinatown YWCA

Three years after Ming Quong opened, the San Francisco YWCA initiated a building program that resulted in one of Julia Morgan's masterpieces and that foreshadowed an entirely different spatial politics of ethnicity and gender. The new building for the Chinatown YWCA was built concurrently with and adjacent to an eight-story residence for the San Francisco association. The relationship between the two buildings suggests the changing dynamics between white and Chinese women in San Francisco. As Peggy Pascoe and subsequent historians have noted, Chinatown women did not passively submit to the authority of the white women who ran institutions such as the rescue missions or the YWCA. But the white women who sought moral authority through charitable and social welfare work were not immutable to change, either. And whereas affluent white women dominated the fundraising, design, and operations of charities and welfare organizations that Morgan had designed previously for Chinese communities, women of Chinese heritage largely controlled the creation and operations of the Chinatown YWCA. Thus, while Morgan's earlier buildings like Ming Quong reflect an educated and sensitive curatorship of Asian art and objects, the Chinatown YWCA stands as an expression of Chinese American cultural identity. (40)

Founded in 1916, the Chinatown YWCA faced challenging variables while developing its program according to the prescribed goals of the national organization. As the central board of the San Francisco YWCA noted, the nature of most Chinese women's employment--in factories and tea rooms and as stock girls and domestic servants--required long and irregular hours that made scheduling YWCA recreational and educational activities difficult. Language barriers persisted, complicating the translation of YWCA goals and exacerbating generational differences within the Chinatown community. And the traditional social organization of Chinatown families, clans, and district associations intensified cliques or limited the activities that young women were permitted. While the Americanizing influence of the YWCA and other Christian organizations was notable and loosened the bonds of restrictive patriarchal power, the majority of Chinatown women still lived according to traditional gender codes and faced limited opportunities. (41)

Despite these challenges, the Chinatown YWCA quickly established itself as a vital neighborhood institution. By the mid-1920s, it counted over 700 members and served over 15,000 women and girls every year. A number of factors contributed to this success. Although a white woman managed the Chinatown YWCA until 1932, most of its board and employees were Chinese and especially sensitive to community needs. Its English-language courses and interpretation services were particularly important for dealing with labor and legal issues. The Chinatown association also offered assistance with immigration issues; job training for a social landscape in which women increasingly worked; and health, hygiene, and well-baby programs that improved infant mortality rates. Use of the Chinese-language press and devotion to inclusiveness assured that a wide cross section of the population learned about an ever-growing list of services. With such programs, the Chinatown YWCA also found significant support among white and Chinese business, political, and reform leaders who wanted to rebuild from the ashes of the earthquake and fires of 1906 a Chinatown that dispelled nineteenth-century myths of an unsanitary, immoral neighborhood of people that could not be assimilated and therefore deserved little in the way of commercial, political, social, or charitable services and support. (42)


By 1926, the Chinatown YWCA had outgrown its facilities and its board members requested new quarters for recreation, education, and housing. Recognizing the Chinatown YWCA as a model in surmounting obstacles to build an important local institution, the central board of the San Francisco YWCA decided in 1928 not only to find new quarters for the Chinese association but also authorize a building campaign for its construction. (43)

The central board first addressed location. It decided to purchase three adjacent lots on Powell and Clay Streets, the former technically in the affluent Nob Hill neighborhood and the latter just inside Chinatown, still a panoply of mostly negative stereotypes. This decision was risky. The board recognized the trend among young city women toward apartment living rather than group residences but felt that Chinatown's stigma could hamper efforts to populate the new building, making it a dangerously costly investment. However, convinced that Morgan's Italian Renaissance Revival design for the residence building--along with such amenities as laundry facilities, a beauty parlor, kitchenettes, and private social spaces--was so "exciting and attractive" that it would appeal to enough women to ensure occupancy near full capacity, the board decided to take the risk. This decision signaled the YWCA's movement toward ethnic integration, one that accelerated significantly after World War II. (44)

Choosing the architect came next. This decision also fell to the central board, which chose Julia Morgan. Her affiliation with the San Francisco YWCA began in 1927 with alterations and additions to the organization's headquarters on Sutter Street. Although she was the third architect the board had consulted in two years, Morgan proved the most adept at addressing its needs. By this time, Morgan had fifteen years of experience designing buildings for the YWCA in California, Hawaii, Washington, and Utah. As the women of the San Francisco YWCA quickly discovered, she knew better than any other architect--male or female--the organization's program requirements and how to translate them into spatial and aesthetic realities. Thus in January 1929, the central board hired Morgan to design the residence on Powell Street as well as new buildings for the Japanese and Chinese YWCA associations. (45)

The residence and the Chinese YWCA buildings provide material and spatial evidence of an ongoing process of multiculturalism and intercultural cooperation. Morgan presented a design for the residence in which white and Chinese women shared the same building but not the same entrance. The women of both the central board and the Chinatown YWCA board considered this plan too radical at first but eventually accepted Morgan's scheme. A retractable partition separates the white members' section of the residence, which opens onto Powell Street, from the Chinese section, which has a separate entrance on Clay Street. Though the entire building is designed in an Italian Renaissance style, the ground-floor Chinese wing opens onto a courtyard featuring windows with a Chinese cloud lift detail. Three Chinese-style towers overlook the courtyard, two of which belong to the Chinese YWCA building and the tallest of which occurs where the white and Chinese wings of the residence building meet. The courtyard's south wall, which is part of the white members' residence wing, features punched glazed tiles with Chinese motifs. Morgan's plan acknowledges that racism was by no means dead, even at the relatively liberal San Francisco YWCA (ethnic minority staff members, for example, earned lower pay for years to come), but the infusion of an Eastern aesthetic underscores a dialectic, rather than sheer dominance or oppression, between hegemonic and minority cultures. (46)

Morgan worked closely with the all-Chinese board of the Chinese YWCA to create an association building adjacent to the Chinese wing of the residence. Meeting in the library of her financial district office, they discussed programmatic needs and aesthetic preferences. The building's most dominant feature was the gymnasium, with its monumental arched ceiling and roof. Though it featured Chinese details, particularly in the screen that frames the stage, it is a decidedly American space. Like American educators who since the late nineteenth century embraced athletics as vital to the healthy development of young women and who made sports part of the high school and college curricula, the YWCA also focused increasingly on physical health. Basketball courts, tennis courts, and swimming pools were as important in YWCA facilities as were classrooms and even more important than large halls that served evangelical purposes. Similarly, the Chinatown YWCA building committee deemed a gymnasium of paramount importance and allotted it a full three-quarters of the construction budget. Morgan had to persuade the central board, which still controlled the finances, to release an extra $10,000 for classrooms. If, as Judy Yung has suggested, the traditional Chinese practice of foot binding can be considered a metaphor for the changing place of Chinese American women from the mid-nineteenth century through the twentieth, no space better captures the idea of "unbound feet" and a definitive rejection of the traditional Chinese gender system than the Chinatown YWCA gymnasium. (47)


Americanization programs were common to the YWCA's national goals, and although the women of the Chinatown YWCA embraced Western values, they also embraced their ethnic culture. Thus, presumably at her client's request, Morgan infused the building with many decorative Chinese details. Molded concrete panels with Chinese dragons in the center break the plane of the red brick exterior cladding, and the roof is covered with handmade green tiles imported from China. Inside, Morgan applied a traditional Chinese color scheme, with red posts, a red-and green ceiling, and blue-and-gold stencils. A Chinese dragon painted into the concrete floor of a hallway looks out onto a meditation patio and koi pond; this dragon motif continues subtly in the curvature of a stairway behind the entrance desk, which features a gold screen. Although the rooms of the main floor are small--apart from the gymnasium--interior windows, decorated cupboards, and ornamental panels abound, resulting in an intimate and sumptuous space.

In her 1937 survey of the San Francisco association, national board representative Myra Smith declared the Chinatown building beautiful but "inadequate for YWCA purposes." (48) She did not elaborate on how the building failed to serve the national organization's purposes. Instead, she critiqued at length the San Francisco YWCA's decentralized hierarchy. Her interviews with members of the Chinese YWCA board reveal that they did not know much about the YWCA program, that the necessity to work long hours prevented virtually all the women from attending meetings with the central board, and that when they did attend, the issues discussed remained remote to their needs. (49)

That the Chinatown YWCA did not conform to the national program reinforces the reality that however strong the national organization's Americanization efforts, Chinatown women drew from them only those that best suited the local community. Thus, though both Chinese and American ideas and ideals shaped the local association's program, the building at 965 Clay Street symbolizes a California women's movement in transition: neither unified and monolithic nor integrated, but beginning to embrace multiculturalism.


One project stands out as a monument to the California women's movement: Asilomar, the YWCA's western conference grounds. Between 1912 and 1928, Morgan designed sixteen buildings, ten tent houses, a forty-car garage, and recreational facilities on a rolling landscape of sand dunes, cypress trees, and California native plants within earshot of the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean and the soft sands of Moss Beach, as the beach beyond the conference grounds was named. She created a deceptively informal landscape, grading only the land immediately under each building, but carefully organized the buildings in a Beaux-Arts fashion around a series of circles connected by winding pathways.

The buildings, too, were informal. One or two stories high, they are designed in the Bay Tradition style with local materials. The unpainted shingled buildings blend into the largely untamed landscape, which serves as exterior ornamentation. And with the exception of the large auditorium's stenciled frieze, the buildings feature little or no interior ornamentation. Redwood clads the walls. Exposed trusses and beams create visual interest and a sense of spaciousness, while large fireplaces in common spaces draw visitors to a central space. Merrill Hall, the auditorium, looms over the central circle of buildings. Its pointed-arch windows evoke Gothic architecture, underscoring the YWCA's Christian mission. Though the lodge, with its Beaux Arts-style grand stairway, appealed to the wealthy board members who resided there, the dusty paths approaching the building's off-center entrance undermine the building's formality and contribute to the democratic message that the YWCA hoped to convey to its members.

From the outset, Asilomar's creation linked YWCA women to powerful business interests and the broader development of the state. The Pacific Improvement Company, a holding company founded in 1869 by the "Big Four" of the Southern Pacific Railroad (Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins), owned the land on which the conference grounds were built. The company's purpose was to manage the railroad's extensive landholdings and develop the land to increase ridership. The most famous and successful experiment to that end during the nineteenth century was the construction of Monterey's luxurious Hotel Del Monte, which transformed that quiet fishing village into a popular seaside resort. (50)

In 1913, the Pacific Improvement Company agreed to offer the national board between twenty and thirty-five acres of land at Moss Beach, near the Christian resort town of Pacific Grove just south of Monterey. The board had to pay one dollar per acre per year, with the stipulation that $20,000-$35,000 worth of capital improvements (dependent on the size of land) be made over the course of ten years. If the YWCA accomplished this feat, it would own the deed to the land. (51)

While the company did not demand a significant outlay, it was not in the business of charity; development of Asilomar potentially could quadruple the property value for its Monterey-area landholdings and entice further development. (52) The offer challenged the YWCA to engage in property development on an unprecedented scale for women. And the women of the YWCA's Pacific Coast branch embraced the challenge.

Funding the project presented a monumental task. It brought together thousands of women from throughout the state for a common purpose. Despite regional rivalries that inhibited cooperation and civility between local associations, YWCA members from San Diego to Oakland engaged in creative and usually small-scale fundraising events. Nineteenth-century-style fundraising, however, was not enough to build Asilomar. The national board appointed Ella Schooley to manage the financial affairs for the new conference site. She had owned a large business in Kansas City, Missouri, before serving as general secretary of the St. Louis YWCA, where she had orchestrated the funding drives and worked closely with the architect in the erection of a $500,000 building. (53) Schooley pursued a number of funding resources, including gifts from southern California's wealthiest and most powerful business leaders and discarded silverware and dishes from the railroad companies. She also organized visits for potential donors to experience for themselves the site's natural beauty and the aesthetic appeal of Morgan's designs. (54)

Most importantly, Schooley linked Asilomar to California's significant tourism industry. She launched a statewide campaign to advertise the grounds as a vacation camp for women, distributing 1,000 posters to Southern Pacific Railroad depots, information bureaus, YWCA buildings, and churches and 3,000 informational booklets to libraries, stores, Sunday schools, and women's clubs. (55) Located just north of Carmel and south of Monterey, Asilomar was connected to two other popular tourist attractions: El Camino Real, a romanticized automobile excursion roughly following the mission trail of Junipero Serra from San Diego to Sonoma, and the Seventeen Mile Drive, a scenic tour of the coast from the former Mexican California capital of Monterey to the bohemian arts town Carmel-by-the-Sea, including Pebble Beach and the jewel in the center of this drive, the new Pebble Beach Lodge. According to Schooley's discussions with a local builder, however, Asilomar's administration building was far superior to the lodge. (56) By 1918, Schooley could report to Phoebe Hearst--a member of the Pacific Coast Field Committee--over $5,000 in profit, 93 percent coming from room and board, an indication of how popular the site had become in just five years. Indeed, so solid were the conference center's finances that the national board decided to purchase an additional twenty acres. (57)

A popular tourist destination in its own right, Asilomar also was an empowering women's space. It raised the profile of organized womanhood in California to a national level at a time when the importance of the state itself was reaching national attention. California had figured little in the minutes of national board meetings, but as YWCA women worked toward the creation of the first conference center designed and built by and for women, their activities began to fill pages. The ability to claim a space as the organization's own served as a declaration of independence, for it relieved the YWCA from the time-consuming task of securing rental spaces for conferences every year. Instead, other organizations sought to rent Asilomar. (58)

YWCA conferences at Asilomar not only trained college women in Christian leadership but also provided job opportunities and networking possibilities that placed young women at an advantage in the search to find work after graduation. One of the most striking features of the conference grounds and individual buildings is the emphasis on communal spaces, which facilitated the expansion of feminine discourse. As Asilomar women socialized, recreated, and learned in large numbers, they also engaged in serious discussions about current issues, from suffrage to war and world peace.


Even Asilomar's aesthetic generated an empowering image of California womanhood. As one writer observed, "Now, there are camps and camps. This one would satisfy alike John Burroughs and John Ruskin; Thoreau and Roosevelt would be equally at home here." (59) Like this writer, virtually all scholars on Arts and Crafts architecture equate it with masculinity, an attempt by white, middle-class, and affluent men to counter the effeminate effects of white-collar work and a modern industrial society or to make the hearth more appealing to men and entice them to spend more time at home. The rustic aesthetic functioned in the opposite way for women. It evoked images of women unbound by domestic walls, getting dirty, perhaps, in skirts that rose well above the ankles. Through Morgan's design, California's women asserted strength and independence. (60)


The YWCA's function shifted significantly in the post-World War II era, rendering Asilomar redundant and a financial drain. The YWCA sold the facility to the state in 1956 and, to this day, it remains one of the two most profitable state parks (the other is Hearst Castle, another Julia Morgan creation). To echo Elsa Black's sentiments, it stands as a testament to the bold determination, optimism, and foresight of "women who build." (61)


The 1930s marked the end of building for the California women's movement. A number of reasons can explain the demise of this political style and path to power and influence. Funding for the maintenance of old buildings and construction of new ones disappeared with the onset of the Great Depression. Large donations from wealthy philanthropists, membership dues, or special event proceeds--on which most women's organizations heavily depended for their nonprofit or charity status--diminished dramatically in the sour economy.

Generational differences also rendered residential club life obsolete. As Estelle Freedman first argued, women's groups since the late nineteenth century espoused separatism as a strategy for creating opportunities in education, professions, politics, and reform in order to achieve access to many of the same privileges as men without having to compete ferociously against them. (62) Their efforts resulted in a transformed landscape, particularly in urban areas, that drew women into more heterosocial spaces; created jobs, particularly for educated women who previously found very few places they could apply their knowledge; and fostered a general desire to live independently. Now the social, educational, economic, and political structures that had brought women together were no longer as firmly entrenched. Suffrage, the one cause that long united women across class, race, and region, also had been won. These changes made the need for women's clubs and institutions less important and their building programs less viable. With increased governmental oversight of and expenditure on health, social welfare, and educational programs--the mainstay of private organizations for decades--women's influence in the continual development of these landscapes was curtailed.

As the period of building came to a close, California's organized women could point to an impressive array of buildings--more designed by Morgan than by any other architect--that left a permanent record of their changing place in society and of the many causes they championed throughout the Progressive Era. That the buildings were completed at all testifies to the importance that Californians placed on the issues these women claimed as their own, for thousands of both wealthy and working-class people financed their construction. Though the stories behind these buildings confirm that privileged white women created the greatest opportunities for themselves and imposed their beliefs on the less privileged and on ethnic minorities, they also reveal that this hierarchy gradually gave way to a more democratic and inclusive movement.

Morgan generally refused to talk about her buildings, declaring that they speak for themselves. To this writer, they scream out that the architect was a devout women's activist. This essay only scratches the surface of the role buildings played in the California women's movement. Their study--which draws a link between the process of creation and the meanings behind aesthetic expression--is an invitation to future historians to peek inside and explore the interconnection between these spaces and the people who used them.


The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their enthusiastic responses and insightful comments. This article was supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Autry National Center of the American West.

(1) Louis S. Lyons and Josephine Wilson, eds., Who's Who among the Women of California (San Francisco: Security Publishing Company, 1922), 47.

(2) In his article on women's power and political style, Michael McGerr encouraged historians to recover alternative strategies to volunteerism that women employed in their paths to power during the early twentieth century. McGerr concentrated on ephemeral strategies that suffragists used--educating through pamphlets and the press; advertising and using automobiles and trains as advertising vehicles; making films and putting on plays; or making pageantry out of parades and meetings--and that largely disappeared after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Michael McGerr, "Political Style and Women's Power, 1930-1930," Journal of American History 77 (Dec. 1990): 864-85.

(3) This essay builds on scholarship about gender, women's clubs, space, and architecture. A few key studies are Karen Blair, The Clubwoman as Feminist: True Womanhood Redefined, 1868-1914 (New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1980); Sarah Deutsch, Women and the City: Gender, Space, and Power in Boston, 1870-1940 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); Gayle Ann Gullett, Becoming Citizens: The Emergence and

Development of the California Women's Movement (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000); Marta Ruth Gutman, "On the Ground in Oakland: Women and Institution Building in an Industrial City" (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2000); Paula Lupkin, "Manhood Factories: Architecture, Business, and the Evolving Urban Role of the YMCA, 1865-1925," in Men and Women Adrift: The YMCA and the YWCA in the City, ed. Nina Mjagkij and Margaret Spratt (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 40-64; Mary Ryan, Women in Public: Between Banners and Ballots, 18251880 (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989); Lee Simpson, Selling the City: Gender, Class, and the California Growth Machine (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2004); and Rene Somers, Edith Wharton as Spatial Activist and Analyst (New York; Routledge, 2005).

(4) Marion Ransom to Aurelia Reinhardt, ca. 1915, Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Papers, 1877-1948, Special Collections, F. W. Olin Library, Mills College, Oakland, CA (hereafter cited as Reinhardt Papers).

(5) In her recent work, Jessica Sewell studies Progressive Era feminism in San Francisco from a spatial perspective. She focuses on how women inhabited and engaged in everyday urban spaces to shape and reshape their place in the city, as well as notions of female respectability. Gradually, women from a cross-section of class and ethnic backgrounds politicized this landscape, eventually turning store windows, sidewalks, and lampposts into sites for suffrage campaigns. In contrast, this essay focuses on specifically designed new buildings. See Sewell, "Sidewalks and Store Windows as Political Landscapes," in Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture IX, ed. Alison K. Hoagland and Kenneth A. Breisch (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2003), 85-98; Sewell, Women and the Everyday City: Public Space in San Francisco, 1890-1915 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).

(6) The most prominent of Charles Morgan's relatives was Edwin G. Morgan, successful businessman, popular governor of New York, founding member of the Republican Party, and member of President Abraham Lincoln's administration. Kevin Murphy, Crowbar Governor: The Life and Times of Morgan Gardner Bulkeley (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2010), 5-22; "Biographical Sketch of Nathan D. Morgan, Esq.," The United States Insurance Gazette 35, no. 210 (Oct. 1872), 275-79; "Henry P. Morgan," in William S. Pelletreau, A History of Long Island: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, vol. 3 (New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905), 115-17; James A. Rawley, Edwin D. Morgan, 1811-1883: Merchant in Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1955); Charles Morgan to [Thorb?], 1865, Property claim of John Weltz, Sept. 1865, and Charles Morgan's letter to an uncle, Sept. 11, 1865, carton 1, Hart Hyatt North Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA.

(7) Karen Ann McNeill, "Building the California Women's Movement: Architecture, Space, and Gender in the Life and Work of Julia Morgan" (Ph.D. diss., University of California Berkeley, 2006), 3-30.

(8) The archival record for Morgan's child hood is scant, at best, so tracing the influences that led her to choose such an unconventional major is difficult. Architect Pierre LeBrun, the husband of Eliza Morgan's cousin, was a likely influence. He was a partner in the prominent New York City firm of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons. While the firm's crowning achievement was the Gothic Revival-style Metropolitan Life Insurance tower overlooking Madison Square (1909), it was busy designing New York City's firehouses whenever Julia Morgan visited the East Coast during her childhood. Thomas W. Ennis, "1909 Tower Here Getting New Look," New York Times, Jan. 7, 1962.

(9) Lynn D. Gordon, Gender and Higher Education in the Progressive Era (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990), 52-84; Barbara Miller Solomon, In the Company of Educated Women: A History of Women and Higher Education in America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985); Helen Lefkowitz-Horowitz, Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s (New York: Knopf, 1984); Diana B. Turk, Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920 (New York: New York University Press, 2004), 13-79; see Chronicle of the University of California: Ladies Blue and Gold 1, no. 2 (Fall 1998): J. R. K. Kanto, "Cora, Jane, & Phoebe: fin-de-Siecle Philanthropy," 1-8, Dorothy Thelen Clemens, "'The Want Most Keenly Felt': University YWCA, the Early Years," 11-19, Roberta Park, "A Gym of Their Own: Women, Sports, and Physical Culture at the Berkeley Campus, 1876-1976," 21-28; Alexandra M. Nickliss, "Phoebe Apperson Hearst's 'Gospel of Wealth,' 1883-1901," Pacific Historical Review 71 (Nov. 2002): 575-605; Mildred Nichols Hamilton, "'Continually Doing Good': The Philanthropy of Phoebe Apperson Hearst," in California Women and Politics: From the Gold Rush to the Great Depression, ed. Robert W. Cherny et al (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011), 77-96.

(10) The entire story of Morgan's pursuit for the diplome lies outside the scope of this essay, but correspondence between Morgan and her family, as well as of Victoria Brown, who was a neighbor from Oakland living in Paris with her son, Arthur Brown Jr., future architect of San Francisco's city hall and fellow student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, make many references to decisions and actions of the faculty, administration, and juries that sometimes facilitated Morgan's accumulation of points toward promotion and ultimately thwarted her from competing for a diplome. This, combined with Morgan's student dossier and the broader context of the Ecole's anxieties over a loss of masculine authority in the arts at the turn of the century, suggests that gender issues determined Morgan's progress at the Ecole as much as did the quality of her work. Tamar Garb, Sisters of the Brush: Women's Artistic Culture in Late Nineteenth-Century Paris (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), 70-104; Marina Sauer, L'Entree des femme a l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 1880-1923 (Paris: Ecole nationale superieure des beaux-arts, 1990); Susan Waller, "Academic and fraternite: constructing masculinities in the education of French artists," in Artistic Brotherhoods in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Laura Morowitz and William Vaughan (Aldershot, England: Ashgate Pub Ltd., 2000), 137-53; Richard Chafee, "The Teaching of Architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts," in The Architecture of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, ed. Arthur Drexler (New York: Museum of Modern Art/MIT Press, 1977), 61-110; Julia Morgan's individual dossier, AJ52 409, Archives nationales de France, Paris; Julia Morgan to Pierre LeBrun, July 19 and Dec. 12, 1897, and Morgan to LeBrun, May 30 and Nov. 14, 1898, 1/04/02/01, Julia Morgan Papers, MS 010, Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Brown Family Papers, a private, unprocessed collection provided to the author by Margaret Jensen, Arthur Brown Jr.'s granddaughter.

(11) Letters from Victoria Brown to Arthur Brown Jr., Aug. 17, 1902; Sept. 3, 1902; Oct. 29, 1902; Dec. 14 and 28, 1902; Jan. 8 and 14, 1903; Apr. 19, 1903; Sept. 27, 1903, Brown Family Papers.

(12) Morgan's association with the YWCA began in 1911, when Phoebe Hearst asked her to design accommodations for a temporary convention site at Hacienda del Pozo de Verona, Hearst's estate in Pleasanton, CA. This conference led directly to the creation of the Asilomar Conference Center, near Pacific Grove, a project that took more than fifteen years to complete and was the first YWCA conference center in the nation. In 1915, Morgan completed the Oakland YWCA, her first building for a local association. Over the next seventeen years, she designed association buildings for San Jose, Riverside, Hollywood, Pasadena, Fresno, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Salt Lake City. The national board also designated Morgan the West Coast architect for World War I Hostess Houses. She designed hostess houses for San Diego, San Pedro, Menlo Park, Berkeley, and Vallejo in California and for Camp Lewis in Washington. For the most comprehensive list of these projects to date, see Sarah Holmes Boutelle, Julia Morgan Architect (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988), 249-62, though the list is not completely accurate, with incorrect dates for the Mac and Evelyn Cottages of the Mary E. Smith Trust Cottages (1905 and 1906 rather than 1902 and 1907, respectively) and missing projects, including a boarding house for Fabiola Hospital nurses (1905) and work for the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego YWCAs.

(13) Abby A. Rockefeller (chairman of Housing Committee War Work Council of the National Board) to Grace Southwick, Dec. 9, 1918; Southwick to Rose Kellock (President, War Work Council, YWCA), Feb. 6, 1920; Morgan to the national board, Mar. 1, 1920; J. W. Thomas to Southwick, Apr. 25, 1920; Mrs. Parker to Miss Smith, May 17, 1920; Southwick to Kellock, July 14, 1920, Record Group (RG) 8, reel 166, YWCA of the USA Records, 1860-2002, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA (hereafter cited as YWCA Record Files); Biennial Report of the President of the University on Behalf of the Regents to His Excellency the Governor of the State, 1910-1912 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1912), 60.

(14) The Berkeley Women's City Club employed the term "stock certificates" in its appeal to donors, as the stock market had become such a popular investment platform during the 1920s, but the club actually secured mortgage-backed bonds to finance the design, construction, furnishing, and decoration of the building. Few investors, including Julia Morgan, cashed in their bonds. Fred G. Athearn, transcript of address at the silver anniversary dinner of the Berkeley Women's City Club, Sept. 11, 1952, Berkeley City Club Archive, Berkeley City Club, Berkeley, CA.

(15) For example, the Ladies' Relief Society in Oakland in the 1870s: door-to-door canvassing for monthly subscriptions, bazaars, fairs, donations, lunches, dinners, dances, and other entertainments; Gutman, "On the Ground in Oakland," 109-10, 116.

(16) Morgan toured new YWCA buildings in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Cleveland, and St. Louis. She also studied the swimming pools at girls' schools in Westover, Greenwich, and Boston. See Oakland Tribune: "Site for Y.W.C.A. Building Chosen," Dec. 18, 1912; "Y.W.C.A. Home to be Built Soon," Jan. 21, 1913; "Y.W.C.A. Building Site is Selected," Feb. 11, 1913; "Y.W.C.A. to Have Fine New Home," Mar. 16, 1913; "Plan for Y.W.C.A. Building Finished," Sept. 4, 1913; "Y.W.C.A. New Building is Commenced," Sept. 17, 1913; "Cornerstone Holds Dream," May 2, 1914; "New Y.W.C.A. Home to be Opened Tomorrow," Jan. 14, 1915; copy of letter from the national board, May 12, 1913, reel 25, YWCA Record Files; Simpson, Selling the City, 114-25.

(17) "An Asset to Business," Bulletin 1, no. 1 (August 1927), 2.

(18) Kellock to Southwick, July 26, 1920, reel 166, YWCA Record Files.

(19) San Pedro, CA, history, reel 165, YWCA Record Files.

(20) Cynthia Brandimarte, "Women on the Home Front: Hostess Houses during World War I," Winterthur Portfolio 42, no. 4 (Winter 2008): 201-22.

(21) Rosalind Amelia Keep, Fourscore Years: A History of Mills College (Oakland, CA: Mills College, 1931), 1-11, 34-50, 86-94; Elias Olan James, The Story of Cyrus and Susan Mills (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1953), 164-236.

(22) Jane Seymour Klink, "Shall There Be a Woman's College in California?" Overland Monthly 33 (May 1899): 461-67; Kevin Starr, Americans and the California Dream, 1850-1915 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), 307-44; Susan Mills to Phoebe Apperson Hearst, Apr. 6, 1895, box 48, folder 13, George and Phoebe Apperson Hearst Papers, MSS 72/204 c, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (hereafter cited as Hearst Papers); Gray Brechin, Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 233, 280-89; Roy Lowe, A Western Acropolis of Learning: The University of California in 1897 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

(23) "The Campanile," White and Gold 10 (Oct. 1903), 32; "Statement by Mrs. C. T. Mills," Dedication of El Campanil and Its Chime of Bells at Mills College, April 14, 1904, 4 and "Mills History," Aug. 9, 1949, Mills College Archives, Oakland, CA.

(24) Galatians, V: 22-23; Keep, Fourscore Years, 102.

(25) Oakland's population grew at a fairly steady pace throughout the late nineteenth century, but it was poised to grow more quickly as the new century dawned. The Realty Syndicate, led by borax magnate Francis Marion Smith, had been buying large tracts of land, subdividing it, and investing in such infrastructure as sewers, electricity, and streetcar systems, since the 1890s. It was the San Francisco earthquake and fires of 1906, though, which finally spurred dramatic growth. Throughout the county, "instant cities" practically defined nineteenth-century urban growth and raised anxieties about moral decay. At least since the 1830s, death by botched abortion of a cigar girl named Mary Rogers in New York City, the fallen woman personified the modern metropolis. On Oakland, see Beth Bagwell, Oakland, the Story of a City (Novato: Presidio Press, 1982) and Simpson, Selling the City. Gunther Barth coined the term "instant city" in Instant Cities: Urbanization and the Rise of San Francisco and Denver (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975). For the history of gender, sex, morality, and the city, see Amy Srebnick, The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers: Sex and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995); Peggy Pascoe, Relations of Rescue: The Search for Female Moral Authority in the American West, 1874-1939 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Mary Odem, Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995); and Sharon E. Wood, The Freedom of the Streets: Work, Citizenship and Sexuality in a Gilded Age Society (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

(26) Mills to Hearst, Apr. 6, 1895, box 48, folder 13, Hearst Papers.

(27) "Address of Charles R. Brown at the Dedication of the Bell Tower at Mills College," Dedication, 22-23.

(28) For the history of the YWCA, see Regina Bannan, "Management by Women: The First Twenty-Five Years of the YWCA National Board, 1906-1931" (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1994); Brandimarte, "Women on the Home Front"; Gullett, Becoming Citizens, 19; Heidi Kenaga, "Making the 'Studio Girl': The Hollywood Studio Club and Industry Regulation of Female Labor," Film History: An International Journal 18, no. 2 (2006): 129-39;

Antoinette J. Lee, "Supporting Working Women: YWCA Buildings in the National Register of Historic Places," OAH Magazine of History 12, no. 1 (Fall 1997): 5-6; Nina Mjagkij and Margaret Spratt, eds., Men and Women Adrift: The YMCA and the YWCA in the City (New York: New York University Press, 1997); Nancy Marie Robertson, Christian Sisterhood, Race Relations, and the YWCA, 1906-46 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007); Marion O. Robinson, Eight Women of the YWCA (New York: National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association, 1966); Judith Weisenfeld, African American Women and Christian Activism: New York's Black YWCA, 1905-1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997).

(29) See Riverside Daily Press: "Y.W.C.A. Architect Mrs. Love's Guest," Sept. 8, 1928; "Begin Work This Week on Y.W.C.A.," Jan. 1, 1929; "Local Y.W.C.A. Unit in World Program," Oct. 19, 1929; "Monumental Aim of New Y.W.C.A. Home Dedicated to High Ideals," Oct. 29, 1929. For more on contested landscapes, see Deutsch, Women and the City.

(30) Lucile Lippett, "Case History of Riverside, California, July 1931," reel 164, YWCA Record Files.

(31) Laura L. Klure, Let's Be Doers: A History of the YWCA of Riverside, California, 1906-1992 (Riverside, CA: Riverside YWCA, 1992), 18-27; "Wise Action is Taken," Riverside Daily Press, June 11, 1927.

(32) See Berkeley Women's City Club Bulletin: "A Woman's Club," 1 (Aug. 1927), 1; "Service to Women's Clubs," 1 (Aug. 1927), 3-4; "Growth," a (Sept. 1927), 1; "History," 1 (Sept. 1927), 1-2.

(33) Julian C. Mesic, "Berkeley City Women's Club," Architect and Engineer 105 (Apr. 1931): 27.

(34) Suzanne B. Reiss, ed., Julia Morgan Architectural History Project Interviews, vol. 1, Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office, University of California, 1976, 111.

(35) Huntington's marble sculpture is called "Youth" and was unveiled to hundreds of guests on the first anniversary of the club building's opening. Mesic, "Berkeley Women's City Club"; "Clara Huntington Bas Relief Unveiled at Berkeley City Club," Oakland Tribune, Nov. 21, 1931.

(36) Judy Yung, Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 73-77; Lorna Logan, Ventures in Mission: The Cameron House Story (Wilson Creek, WA: n.p., 1976), 20-28; Mildred Crowl Martin, Chinatown's Angry Angel: The Story of Donaldina Cameron (Palo Alto: Pacific Books, 1977), 110-22, 229-31.

(37) Aurelia Reinhardt to Milbank Johnson, August 3, 1917, folder 39, RG IIA; A. S. Lavenson to Reinhardt, Oct. 23, 1916 and Reinhardt to Lavenson, Feb. 7, 1918, folder 42, RG IIA; AR to Bernard Maybeck, Feb. 17, 1917 and Maybeck to Reinhardt [1919], folder 45, RG IIA; Reinhardt to Frank Colbourn, May 24, 1924, folder 11, RG IIC; J. W. Bingaman to Reinhardt, Sept. 18, Sept. 20, 1924, Feb. 25, Apr. 9, 1925, folder 24, RG IID; Reinhardt to W. J. Bacus, Sept. 24, 1924, folder 24, RG IID, Reinhardt Papers. See also Simpson, Selling the City, 122.

(38) Julia Morgan designed Ethel Moore Memorial Hall, a residence hall, but not the one that was finally built. Walter Ratcliff designed the actual dormitory in 1926. Reinhardt to Morgan, Oct. 24, 1925, folder III, RG IID, Reinhardt Papers; Woodruff Minor and Kiran Singh, The Architecture of Ratcliff (Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 2006), 73.

(39) Reinhardt to Johnson, Aug. 3, 1917, folder 39, RG IIA; Reinhardt to Robert Dollar, May 1918 and Dollar to Reinhardt, May 10, 1918, folder 19, RG IIA; Reinhardt to Frank Colbourn, May 24, 1924, folder II, RG IIC; J. W. Bingaman to Reinhardt, Sept. 18, Sept. 20, 1924, Feb. 25, Apr. 9, Apr. 20, May 1, 1925, folder 24, RG IID; Reinhardt to Bingaman, Sept. 19, 1924, Apr. 28, 1926, folder 24, RG IID; Reinhardt to W. J. Bacus, Sept. 24, 1924, folder 24, RG IID, Reinhardt Papers.

(40) In her book Relations of Rescue, Peggy Pascoe illustrates how Chinese women who lived at San Francisco's Presbyterian Chinese Mission acculturated to the Americanization program and Victorian womanhood inasmuch as they benefitted them materially and financially but retained aspects of their cultural heritage. In Pascoe's study, white women, particularly as represented by Donaldina Cameron, remain static figures in their quest to achieve moral authority, unchanged by their constant interactions with women of different social and ethnic backgrounds. While lensen does not suggest that white women tried to change racial hierarchies, she does argue that the popular act of collecting Asian art and material or wearing traditional Asian clothes was less an act of cultural exploitation than a studied exercise and one through which many women expressed their identification with exploitative patriarchal domination. See Joan Jensen, "Women on the Pacific Rim: Some Thoughts on Border Crossing," Pacific Historical Review 67, no. 1 (February 1998): 3-38.

(41) Yung, Unbound Feet, 94-96; Sucheng Chan, "Race, Ethnic Culture, and Gender in the Construction of Identities among Second-generation Chinese Americans, 1880s-1930s," in Claiming America: Constructing Chinese American Identities during the Exclusion Era, ed. K. Scott Wong and Sucheng Chan (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), 127-54; "International Institute Report 1928," Minutes, San Francisco YWCA, Nov. 19, 1926, Oct. 15, 1928, and Annual Report of the President of the YWCA, January 1926-1927, Papers of the San Francisco YWCA, YWCA of San Francisco and Marin, San Francisco, California (hereafter cited as SFYWCA).

(42) Yung, Unbound Feet, 94-96; Nyah Shah, Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco's Chinatown (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), 208-11; Cheung Sai Ya Po, "Why Chinese Americans Should Support the YWCA," Chinese Digest, Aug. 15, 1936, in Unbound Voices: A Documentary History of Chinese Women in San Francisco, ed. Judy Yung (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 240-41; Jane Kwong Lee, "A Chinese American," in Unbound Voices, 227-40, and "A Resume of Social Service," Chinese Digest, Dec. 20, 1935, 14, in Unbound Voices, 349-52; Erica Y. Z. Pan, The Impact of the 1906 Earthquake on San Francisco's Chinatown (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1995); Shah, Contagious Divides.

(43) Annual Report of the President of the YWCA, Jan. 1926-1927 (hereafter cited as Annual Report) and minutes of SFYWCA board meeting, Oct. 15, 1928, SFYWCA.

(44) The central board calculated correctly; the San Francisco residence ran at 98.5 percent capacity from the day it opened its doors through at least World War II. Annual Report and San Francisco YWCA board minutes, May 19, 1930, July 2, 1931, SFYWCA; "A Delightful Place to Live," brochure for the Residence Club, San Francisco YWCA, reel 165, and Questionnaire, 1946, YWCA Record Files.

(45) Minutes, San Francisco YWCA, Nov. 19, 1926, Sept 23, Oct. 28, and Nov. 18, 1927, and Jan. 25, 1929, SFYWCA; Annual Report, SFYWCA.

(46) Minutes, San Francisco YWCA, Jan. 25 and May 19, 1929, May 19 and Nov. 29, 1930, SFYWCA; Myra A. Smith, "San Francisco Standards Study Report," May 24-June 4, 1937, reel 165, YWCA Record Files.

(47) Minutes, San Francisco YWCA, Mar. 10, 1931, SF YWCA; Chan, "Race, Ethnic Culture, and Gender," 127-64; Yung, Unbound Feet; Lupkin, "Manhood Factories," 40-64; Nancy Robertson and Elizabeth Norris, "'Without Documents No History': Sources and Strategies for Researching the YWCA," in Men and Women Adrift, 271-94.; Solomon, In the Company of Educated Women, 103-5.

(48) Smith, "San Francisco Standards Study Report," 6.

(49) Ibid., 2, 6.

(50) Richard J. Orsi, Sunset Limited: The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West, 1850-1930 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 116-26; Russell Quacchia, Julia Morgan, Architect, and the Creation of the Asilomar Conference Grounds (Carmel, CA: Q Publishing, 2005), 125-27.

(51) Pacific Grove was founded as Pacific Grove Retreat Association in 1875. It was a Methodist seaside resort and campground, and within its first year a dozen cottages and several tents were constructed to accommodate 400 guests. With the construction of Hotel del Monte in 1880 and the infusion of Pacific Improvement Company funds into the development of the peninsula, the Monterey area gained popularity. People of no particular religious affiliation began to settle in Pacific Grove, more or less closing its brief history as a Chatauqua of the West. Minutes, national board, May 29 and Oct. 2, 1912, reel 25, YWCA Record Files; Quacchia, Julia Morgan, 116-18.

(52) Quacchia, Julia Morgan, 127.

(53) Harriet Taylor to Phoebe Hearst, Oct. 7, 1912, Hearst Papers; Minutes, Feb. 5, 1913, reel 25, YWCA Record Files.

(54) Schooley to Hearst, May 12, 1913, and July 16, 1913, box 50, folder 24, Hearst Papers.

(55) Schooley to Hearst, Apr. 23, 1914, box 24, folder 50, and Pacific Coast Field Committee Minutes, May 25, 1914, box 51, folder 6, Hearst Papers.

(56) Schooley to Hearst, May 19, 1913, box 50, folder 24, Hearst Papers.

(57) Notably, the invention of El Camino Real, which appealed to modern interest in automobile touring and nostalgia for California's Spanish past, originated with women. See Phoebe S. Kropp, California Vieja: Culture and Memory in a Modern American Place (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 47-102. Chairman (Conference Grounds Committee) to Mrs. F. E. Shine, (President YWCA, Bisbee, AZ), Mar. 14, 1917, box 50, folder 21, and Schooley to Hearst, July 20, 1916, Apr. 1, 1918, box 50, folder 24, Hearst Papers.

(58) News of the Pacific Coast Field Committee first appeared in the minutes of the national board meetings in Oct. 1911 with the announcement that Phoebe A. Hearst would hold the 1912 regional conference at her estate in Pleasanton, where the topic of most importance would be purchasing a permanent site for the Pacific Coast Conference. Executive Minutes, National Board of the YWCA of the USA, Oct. 19, 1911, 2, reel 25, YWCA Record Fries.

(59) "Asilomar Unpictured," The Epworth Herald [1916], in Schooley to Hearst, July 20, 1916, Hearst Papers.

(60) For more on gender and the Arts and Crafts movement, see Eileen Boris, "Crossing Boundaries: The Gender Meaning of the Arts and Crafts," in The Ideal Home, 1900-1920: The History of Twentieth-Century American Craft, ed. Janet Kardon (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1993); Boris, "'Dreams of Brotherhood and Beauty': The Social Ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement," in "The Art that is Life": The Arts & Crafts Movement in American, 1875-1920, ed. Wendy Kaplan (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1998), 208-22; Cheryl Robertson, "House and Home in the Arts and Crafts Era: Reforms for Simpler Living," in "The Art that is Life," 336-57; T. J. Jackson Leafs, No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture (New York: Pantheon Press, 1981), 59-96.

(61) Lyons and Wilson, Who's Who among the Women of California, 47.

(62) Estelle Freedman, "Separatism as Strategy: Female Institution Building and American Feminism, 1870-1930," Feminist Studies 5 (Fall 1979): 512-29.

KAREN McNEILL is an independent scholar currently writing the first intellectual biography of Julia Morgan. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches history and works in historic preservation and public history.
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Date:Jun 22, 2012
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