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One of Julia Morgan’s most famous works is open after sitting dormant for 30+ years

By Alissa Walker, Curbed, November 5, 2021

The L.A. Herald Examiner folded in 1989, and its building, a 1914 Mission Revival structure “became an out-of-context medieval ruin along a quiet stretch of South Broadway. [But] 103 years after the building first opened, [a] New York developer began a full restoration in 2017. It’s not quite finished; … but the main tenant, an L.A. outpost of Arizona State University, … has moved in.

“The reawakened building remains one of L.A.’s most important pieces of architecture, in part because of who designed it. It’s an early work by Julia Morgan, the first woman to become a licensed architect in California and the first woman accepted to study architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she was permitted to enroll in 1898 thanks to nearly a decade of organizing by the Union of Women Painters and Sculptors. Before heading to Paris, Morgan earned a civil engineering degree from [UC] Berkeley (also the first woman to do so).

“It’s a moment of resurgent appreciation for Morgan’s work. In 2014, she was the first woman to be awarded the American Institute of Architects gold medal; in 2019, The New York Times published a long-overdue obituary.

“Thanks to its designation as a historic landmark in 1977, the [Herald Examiner] building couldn’t be significantly altered or torn down, but it also hadn’t been kept up; the structure required three decades’ worth of safety upgrades and had suffered a great deal of water damage. … The third-floor newsroom remains about as it was, a vast open-plan workspace with original sawtooth skylights reopened to reveal seams of blue sky, and it is now, incredibly, a newsroom again, ringed with edit bays and production studios for ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.”

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