The Wilson House, designed in the Neoclassical Beaux-Arts fashion and built in 1909 by early 20th century architect Julia Morgan is up for sale at $998,000. This 3,390-square-foot house, located in Vallejo, Calif., has five bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. Standing at three stories tall, it also has equally balanced right and left wings, as well as grand indoor and outdoor areas—such as two covered patio decks, a sitting room, formal dining room, and large living room—suitable for entertaining guests. Located at 728 Capitol St., this is the first time the home has been listed in a little over 40 years. The longtime owner and former resident, Judith Hillburg, passed away last February, leaving it to her two daughters who put it on the market. But while the late Mrs. Hillburg lived there, she managed to have it added to the National Registry of Historic Homes. Another notable contribution from the arts fanatic is a 15th-century Armenian manuscript, which New York's Metropolitan Museum specifically requested to add to their collection.
Morgan, who spent the majority of her life living and building in the Bay Area, was the first woman to study civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and to be admitted into the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the same regard. Her very presence as a licensed female architect made a statement of how women could accomplish the same things as men. However, she was never keen on being associated with any feminist causes, and preferred to focus solely on her own work and practice.
Careful to never identify to one theory or school of architecture, she took on array of projects thus creating varied buildings and homes for her clients. Her unique style (or lack thereof) was eventually overshadowed by the popularity of Modernism, but her work has garnered much praise throughout the years, even earning her a posthumous AIA 2014 Gold Medal Award. Though she has gained recognition in the media in recent years, this is not something Morgan would have enjoyed when she was practicing. She disliked the media, and believed that advertising or talking about her work was reserved for "talking architects," preferring her work to speak for itself. Morgan was also not interested in the archival of her work, and burned the blueprints of her buildings after her retirement. In fact, the only people who might still have copies of her blueprints would be her client's ancestors.
Some of Morgan's most famous works include the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif., St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, Calif., and the YWCA in Honolulu.
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