Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Julia Morgan Designed Gravestones at Mountain View Cemetery

Julia Morgan's Hockenbeamer gravestone and detail (Photos by Michael Colbruno)

One of the most popular graves at Mountain View Cemetery is that of architect Julia Morgan, who was the first woman to be licensed to practice architecture in California. She also happens to be one of the most famous architects in history, having designed Hearst Castle in San Simeon, the Asilomar Conference Center, the Campanile at UC Berkeley, the Margaret Carnegie Library, portions of the Chapel of the Chimes just outside of the front gate of Mountain View Cemetery and the redesign of the landmark Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco after it was damaged by the earthquake of 1906.

Most people probably don't realize that Julia Morgan also designed two of the gravestones at Mountain View Cemetery, which sit next to each other in Plot 4 just to the right of the second fountain down the main road. Morgan designed both the personal homes and gravestones for August Frederick Hockenbeamer, the president of PG&E, and Richard Bartlett Ayer, a prominent wine merchant.

Julia Morgan's Ayer gravestone and detail (Photos by Michael Colbruno)
The Ayer gravestone was designed in 1928, which was during the time that she was designing numerous YWCA's at the beheast of Phoebe Apperson Hearst. The gravestone stands about 5' tall and is made of light gray granite. The design is Streamlined Moderne, which was a more understated version of the Art Deco style popular at the time. On each side, one can see a four-leaf clover design with three long stems or lines. Morgan designed a German Medieval-style home in Piedmont for the Ayer's in 1914.

The Ayer home in Piedmont
The Hockenbeamer gravestone is also in the Streamined Moderne style and was designed in 1935. It is made of a longer slab of gray granite and stands about 6' tall. It features rose blossoms on each side. Morgan designed the Hockenbeamer home in Piedmont in 1914. You can read more about the Hockenbeamer's at our previous post.

Julia Morgan's vast legacy includes a few other funerary designs, including the aforementioned Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, the Homelani Columbarium in Hilo, Hawaii and the Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary in Santa Rosa, California. 

1 comment:

historywriter said...

Great stuff. I stumbled across your blog while looking for info on the Merchants Exchange. Trying to run down a sea captain namesGeorge Chase. He was the father-in-law of William B Bourn. He has a ship that has important historical significance to my town''s 1858 history. He know where he's buried and some of his history, but can't find anything about his shipping business in San Fran. He was worth $10,000 in 1860,a lot of money then.