The North Star House
12075 Auburn Road
Grass Valley, California 95949
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About this event

Julia Morgan was a remarkably talented architect. After receiving a Civil Engineering degree from UC Berkeley, she went to Paris and became the first female admitted to and graduated from the most prestigious architecture school in the world, L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Dr. McNeil will discuss this period of Julia Morgan’s life, and how it gave her a strong foundation for her amazing career.

Returning to California, Miss Morgan became he first licensed female architect in California in 1904. She is best known for designing the massive Hearst Castle estate in San Simeon (built 1919-1947). One of her first commissions after starting her own business was designing the North Star House, completed in 1905.  It is a historical house and is considered an excellent example of Arts & Crafts style.

AUTHOR:  Karen McNeil, PhD

Dr. McNeill is an expert on Julia Morgan. Her latest publication, “Julia Morgan in Paris”, is available in the recently-released book Julia Morgan: The Road to San Simeon.  Karen’s scholarship focuses on women and gender in the architectural profession as well as how Progressive Era women used the built environment to expand their roles in society as consumers, reformers, educators, and professionals. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Autry National Center, the Bancroft Library, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. Karen has also taught history and architectural history at colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area and had been involved in historic preservation, authoring several context statements for major surveys and successfully nominating a range of buildings to the National Register of Historic Places. She is currently Senior Family Historian at Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank and a trustee on the board of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (WAF).

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