California State Parks

Julia Morgan Architecture in California State Parks


Asilomar State Beach and

 Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove


In 1913 Asilomar became the first women’s summer camp and conference grounds in the United States owned by a women’s organization. The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) was Morgan’s largest commercial client having designed 17 YWCA sites, Asilomar was the first.

Morgan designed Asilomar in the Arts & Crafts architectural style. the buildings are redwood construction with granite stones covering concrete supports and foundations. The interior spaces are as expressive as the exteriors, allowing natural light to accentuate the structural beauty of the wood.Morgan’s layout of the grounds complements the natural landscape. the social hall, dining room, and chapel auditorium stand in a circular campus at the edge of the forest, sheltered from the ocean by sand dunes. The lodges are tucked back into the trees. Morgan’s work at Asilomar spanned nearly two decades, from 1913-1928. Asilomar represents her largest collection of Arts & Crafts-style buildings in one location.The YWCA sold Asilomar to California State Parks in 1956. Today, the buildings are a National Historic Landmark. 

 For tours of the Julia Morgan buildings contact:

Asilomar State Park Office
804 Crocker Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
(831) 646-6443

Hearthstone at Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Weott

Hearthstone, designed by Julia Morgan stands in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park

In 1933 the General Federation of Women’s Clubs hired Julia Morgan to design a memorial to symbolize their victorious effort and champion their motto, “Strength United is Stronger”. The hearthstone was designed with four stone fireplaces united with a common chimmey. Oversized rocks collected from the Eel River are on the face of the structure. Cut tree trunks support wood roofs that cover the open hearths. Stone bench inglenooks provide a resting place.

For information:

Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Assn.

P.O. Box 276

Weott, CA 95571

(707) 946-2263

U.S Immigration Station on

 Angel Island State Park 

Bungalow cottages designed by Julia Morgan

 The Immigration Station complex initially included small facility buildings, detention barracks, an administration building, hospital, power plant and pier. Architect Julia Morgan was hired by her brother-in-law to design 12 small bungalow cottages for the families and staff who were working on Angel Island. In 1963 the island became a State Park. The cottages fell  into disrepair and were burned in 1971 as a training exercise and also filmed for a movie. All that remains of the residences are concrete foundations.

Santa Monica-Annenberg Community Beach House -Formally Marion Davies’ Beach House

Former Marion Davies home was dubbed the “Versailles of Hollywood” with 110 rooms, 37 fireplaces and 55 bathrooms

William Hearst replaced his designer for his beach property with Julia Morgan, who finished the construction of the main house and then designed a pool and a 7,000 square food guest house surrounded by gardens. Davies lived in the beach house from 1929 until 1942. The house was sold and converted into a hotel. In 1957 the hotel closed and the main house was demolished. The property was sold to California State Parks in 1959. In about 1998 the Annenberg Foundation provided a grant that paved the way for the site’s rehabilitation, in partnership with the City of Santa Monica and California State Parks. In 2009 the Annenberg Community Beach House opened to all with no membership required.

 For Information Contact:

Annenberg Community Beach House

415 Pacific Coast Highway

Santa Monica, CA 90402

(310) 458-4902

California State Parks Website


Comments are closed.