In 1910, Julia Morgan donated her services to design a building for the growing number of women enrolled in the university. Senior Women’s Hall was completed in 1911 and served as a gathering place for female students, singing groups and discussions. In 1946, the building was relocated a short distance downhill, west of the Stadium and Greek Theatre, and used as a childcare center. It was renamed Girton Hall after the first women’s residential college at the University of Cambridge, England.
The modestly-scaled redwood building has distinctive wood trusses and exposed single wall construction. In its original setting it was linked to the creekside landscape with broad outdoor patios. In 2014, Girton was relocated again, up Strawberry Canyon to the UC Botanical Garden, where it once more serves as a space for small gatherings. Careful siting within the Garden reestablished connections to the landscape. An expansive deck provides for outdoor social functions. The highly restricted relocation route required passage through landmarked mature California oak trees. Girton was surgically divided into four pieces to make the move. The reassembled building was restored and subtly upgraded for accessibility at its new location. The building has been renamed in honor of the original designer: Julia Morgan Hall.
Preservation Architect / Logistical Coordination: Siegel & Strain Architects
UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley, California