St. John's Presbyterian Church (now Julia Morgan Center for the Performing Arts)

Julia Morgan

Like Morgan's later church commissions, this early church (and Sunday School) is small. It was built in three phases--the Fellowship Hall in 1908 and the Sanctuary and finally the Education section in 1910. And like many of her early residential commissions, it reflects the Crafts tradition. Instead of the soaring heights associated with churches (or at least their bell towers) this wood frame church is low to the ground with a low pitched roof, projecting eaves, and grouped windows--all elements of the Craftsman tradition.

The front facade reflects the plan--a larger sanctuary to the left, a connecting hallway with windows, and a lower education wing to the right. These three spaces are unified by the repeated angles in the roof lines and windows, the repeated narrow bands of windows (also in the clerestory), and the horizontal line across the top of the church door which continues across the corridor to the window division of the Sunday School.


A view toward the church entrance and the entrance

The interior also derives from the Crafts tradition with natural redwood exposed beams and supports. See Boutelle 72-3 for black and white views of the original interior.

Work Cited: Boutelle, Sara Holmes. Julia Morgan Architect. Revised and updated edition. New York: Abbeville Press, 1995.

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Copyright Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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