Restored to Morgan Gem
effort stands as a testament to the dedication of donors, more than 100
students and alumni, and a determined group of campus employees.
Sac State design professor Lee Anderson, it was a startling discovery:
The University owned a home designed by celebrated architect Julia Morgan.
In fact, various Sac State programs had been housed in the 6,000 square-foot
home since 1966, when Sacramento philanthropist Charles M. Goethe donated
it to the University.
Anderson, and a group of people including Sac State Vice President Elizabeth
Moulds and Nancy Pennebaker, assistant to the director of the CSUS Foundation,
began meeting in the mid-1990s to develop ways the home could be restored.
Five years later, the Julia Morgan House and Gardens on Sacramentos
T Street stands as a testament to the dedication of donors, more than
100 students and alumni, and a determined group of campus employees. Its
$1.7 million renovation, paid for through private contributions, was completed
last summer. Since then, the main home and gardens have become a prized
location for University and public special events. The west wing of the
mansion houses the Life Center, a program dedicated to senior wellness.
could not ask for a more outstanding architectural resource for our design
students, Anderson says. The house is also a wonderful resource
for the University and the Sacramento community.
Architect Julia Morgan was the first woman to graduate from the famous
Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the first female architect licensed
in California. She is perhaps best known for designing the sprawling Hearst
Castle at San Simeon for William Randolph Hearst.
Student interest in the project to restore the Morgan home has been intense
from the beginning. Students have developed a variety of proposals for
its use and furnishing. When the full renovation project began, the pace
of student research and design projects quickened. Even now, students
are working on research and planning projects, which will continue for
many years to come. Student Melody Bynon, for instance, is writing a history
of the home that can be used by docents giving tours.
have been involved as well. The Sac State interior design alumni chapter
helped with research and design projects for the house, and is now planning
public guided tours. This project has really brought us together
for something we could dedicate our talents to, says Nancy Wigley,
vice president of the chapter.
The chapter and others are also raising funds and gifts to furnish the
home. The furnishings wish list includes antique furniture,
art and accessories that would be appropriate for the style and period
of the house.
Details: Morgan House and Gardens at (916) 227-5527.