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Over the past thirty-five years I have been asked countless times by historians, architects, and college students what it is about the life and work of Julia Morgan that qualifies her to be placed in the top tier of the pantheon of American architecture. The answer lies partly in the fact that she was America’s first truly independent, full-time woman architect.1 Indeed, she was “a cultural revolutionary in a flowered hat” and “a quiet feminist,” as I put it in the introduction to the first edition of this book. She proved that a woman could do as well as any man in a job men had assumed women were incapable of performing. When Julia Morgan opened her own practice in San Francisco in April 1904, she shattered the glass ceiling in her chosen profession, one that had never allowed women to participate fully until she came along.