Building Berkeley

If you love all things architecture, our upcoming Arts & Culture Talk may interest you!

Building Berkeley:  Bernard Maybeck, John Galen Howard, Julia Morgan & the UC Berkeley Campus


Join us to welcome Professor Margaretta Lovell, Professor of the History of Art, as a speaker in our Arts and Culture series.

How many times have we walked the UC Berkeley campus, usually without even thinking about the history of the buildings that surround us?

Here are a few great things Margaretta will be speaking about with all of us.

In what ways was the campus determined by the geography of Berkeley?

How many architects submitted plans for the UC campus?

What are the UC buildings that Julia Morgan designed?

What was the original plan for all of the floors of the Campanile?

Get the answers to all of these questions and many more at our Arts & Culture Talk on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 6pm.  Tickets available on Eventbrite.

BCC Members:  $5 | Non-Members: $10

Julia Morgan Hall

A true landmark of a building, owned by UC Berkeley and constructed by our famed architect, Julia Morgan, in 1911, is certainly a treasure not to be missed.

One-year ago today, on January 13, 2014, the building constructed of redwood was (very carefully) moved over a period of two weekends in four, (very large) pieces.

Here is the story of this amazing piece of history.

Fast forward back to 1911…

At that time in history, women were not allowed access to the Senior Men’s Hall or most of the other men’s buildings on campus. Many determined young women staged programs and wrote letters to solicit funds to secure the space.

In comes Julia Morgan, who graduated from Cal in 1894 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

The Associated Women Students at Cal asked Morgan to design a building for their activities.

It became known as Senior Women’s Hall.


On to 1946…

The building was moved about 160 feet west, to make room for the Gayley Road extension of Piedmont Avenue.

A rounded fireplace and bigger patio were added, all in keeping with Morgan’s original design.

Its name became Girton Hall in 1969.


In 1970, Girton Hall became a child-care facility.

In 2014, a project a year in the making, and over a period of two weekends came to fruition.


To get the building down a narrow driveway to its resting place in the UC Botanical Garden, it was cut into four pieces, with the largest weighing in at 14,000 pounds. Each piece required a separate move and road closure of Centennial Drive.

Today, the building will serve as a venue for weddings, events and gatherings.

The UC Botanical Garden has established a fund to aid in the care of the building.

As of January 2014, about $700,000 towards a goal of $1 million has been raised.

Curious to view this piece of history?  I am too!

I think a short little mid-day jaunt is in order.  Tour info, please.