The UC Botanical Garden is home to more than 13,000 flowers and plant species—many of them exotic, endangered or rare.
For Paul Licht, the Director of the UC Botanical Garden for more than a decade, it comes as no surprise that the University would place another rare treasure among the garden’s exquisite Tea Roses, Bush Monkeyflowers and Long-Rayed Brodiaea.
“It became clear to people that the Botanical Gardens is the only place to put the Julia Morgan Hall,” said Licht, adding that campus planners originally looked at 15 potential places to relocate the building. “The school wanted to honor the spirit of the building,” he said. “Having it up here in a natural, beautiful setting brings it more to life.”
After being relocated to the 34-acre Botanical Garden one year ago, Julia Morgan Hall reopened to the public last month. It took nearly $2 million in private funding to move the structure that boasts California and national historic status.
“Julia Morgan was one of the most prolific architects in the world,” said Licht, who explained that Morgan, a Cal alumna, was famous for merging buildings into the environment. He thinks the garden makes a perfect setting for the century-old redwood building.
“It became clear to people that the botanical gardens is the only place to put Julia Morgan Hall,” said Paul Licht.
While UC Berkeley was one of the first universities to accept women as students, at the time, women weren’t permitted to gather in Senior Hall, which was restricted to men. So Julia Morgan donated designs for a new building — initially called Senior Women’s Hall — which was constructed to provide women on campus a place for social activities.
For more information about Julia Morgan Hall or future garden exhibits, visit UC Botanical Garden. Admission to the garden is $8 for students; there is no entry fee for visiting the Hall.