An early and fine example of architect Julia Morgan's residences in the First Bay Tradition is on the market in Vallejo, Calif. Designed by Morgan (1872-1957) in an eclectic Beaux-Arts chalet-style with neoclassical and Arts & Crafts features, the magnificent home was completed in 1909 and has been carefully maintained by a single owner for the past 40 years.
Known for her exquisite Hearst Castle -- newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon mansion -- Morgan is considered to be the first woman architect licensed in California. She was also the first woman admitted to the architecture program at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Vallejo's Wilson House is on the National Registry of Historic Homes.
Surrounded by gardens, the 3,390 square-foot home's floor plan is considered a butterfly layout with equally balanced right and left wings, according to realtor.com.
It is listed at $1.2 million, ranking the property in the top tier of prices in Vallejo. A "right buyer" who appreciates the home's historical significance is sought, agent Jason Born told the Times-Herald. Vallejo is situated between some of the far pricier ragions of San Francisco and Napa wine country.
The previous owner, Judith Hillburg, was a fixture in Vallejo's preservation scene. Her estate is selling the residence which was once chock-full of Hillburg's art and antiques collections.
“The Metropolitan Museum in New York asked us if we would donate a 15th century Armenian silk road period manuscript, so we did that in her name,” daughter Linda (Hillburg) Barker told the Times-Herald of the collections, ranging form antiquities to Pop art. “We’re selling quite a bit of it, so it lives on, and some of it we’re keeping because it’s beautiful and reminds us of our mother.”