The talented architect of our beautiful venue was quite the woman of her day and her buildings live on in present day for us all to cherish.
Julia Morgan became a master builder of innovative, elegant pools that were expressions of women’s expanding freedom. The pools and recreational areas that Morgan built became the most important aspects of the spaces she created.
Julia Morgan was an expert pool builder. Perhaps her most famous and opulent pools were built at William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon with both the Neptune Pool and the Roman Pool.
Morgan designed fifteen YWCA buildings and she became known for her expertise at pool building. The YWCA promoted women’s fitness and health and they included gymnasiums and swimming pools in most of their buildings.
Sadly, many of Julia Morgan’s pools have been demolished or filled in over the years.
Riverside’s YWCA is now an art museum and the pool has been filled in. The San Jose and Long Beach YWCA’s and pools have been demolished. The pool at the YWCA Morgan House in San Pedro was filled in. The Pasadena YWCA, after decades of abandonment, was recently purchased by the City and it will be converted into a luxury hotel.
The Berkeley City Club is so fortunate to have a beautiful, intact, Julia Morgan swimming pool.