Our Architectural History & Julia Morgan

We would like to highlight one strong woman who was ahead of her time. Heritage on the Marina was designed by Julia Morgan, a San Francisco native and the first woman to become a State Architect. She was best known for her design of Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Heritage on the Marina was founded by the San Francisco Ladies’ Protection and Relief Society, one of the City’s oldest charitable organizations, dating back to the California Gold Rush. It is an architectural treasure, which has been serving San Franciscans for nearly a century.

The History of this building originates in 1853, when the San Francisco Ladies’ Protection and Relief Society formation “to render Protection and Assistance to strangers, too sick and dependent Women and Children”. For the first three years the Society focused on boarding women in benefactor’s homes, while also operating an employment agency to give women jobs and wages. In 1863 the organization established their first dedicated care home on Franklin between Geary & Post.

In 1922 Julia Morgan was enlisted to design a convalescent care facility and home for elderly women. As an engineer herself, Morgan had a unique vision for creating a complex structure that is both beautiful and functional. In a previous webinar we hosted on the history of Heritage on the Marina conducted by Dr Karen McNeNeill, she stated “Morgan used the structure to create the beauty and define the spaces”.  It is a historic symbol that today provides the portal to a world-class continuing care retirement community. “What makes Heritage on The Marina so special is that is really does reflect Morgan” said Dr. Karen McNeNeill

Residents enjoy daily life amongst some of history’s most treasured architecture in this red brick, Tudor Gothic-style building. From the staircase to the archways, and the chapel to the library, Julia Morgan paid careful attention to every detail. Walking the halls of this historical building you can see glimpses into the past as it serves the present.

To learn more about the history behind Julia Morgan and Heritage on The Marina visit here.

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