Mission + City + Architecture: ASU and the Revitalized Herald Examiner Building

Event Date: 
Monday, October 3, 2022 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Event Location: 
ASU California Center
Presented by: 
University City Exchange

The decision of Arizona State University to have a home in Los Angeles and to be of the city, not simply in it, is powerfully communicated through the architecture we have chosen to represent us: a revitalized landmark, the Herald Examiner Building.

As the great urbanist Jane Jacobs stated, “New ideas need old buildings.” ASU has taken that message to heart and selected a structure that provides an iconic presence for the institution and its innovative approach to education. The renovation also highlights the extraordinary career of the first registered female architect in California — Julia Morgan — who was also the first woman to receive the American Institute of Architects’ highest award, the AIA Gold Medal.

With a collection of expert panelists as guides, the session will explore a variety of relevant themes, including the history of the building, the Morgan-Hearst partnership and the contribution of the renovated building to a larger picture of contemporary Los Angeles, especially a reemergent Broadway and how this building and its programs can accelerate that dynamic. Topics that will be discussed include:

  • Why is ASU in Los Angeles? Even more so, why in this building?
  • How does this very important structure play into the history and future of LA?
  • What did it take to bring the building back to life, and how is it representative of the importance of historic preservation?
  • Who was Julia Morgan, and why is her career still relevant to women in design fields today? 
  • How do singular buildings play a physical, cultural and communication role in the life of a city, and what does this one say?
  • How will ASU contribute to the betterment of Los Angeles, and what programs will demonstrate that commitment?

The event will include optional tours of the building after the panel discussion.

Program includes:

Julia Morgan, architect, engineer, innovator, mentor and role model

Presented by: Karen McNeill, Julia Morgan scholar and member, Board of Trustees of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.

Panel: “New Ideas Need Old Buildings: The HEX Building in Context”


Wellington “Duke” Reiter, fellow of the American Institute of Architects; senior adviser to the president; executive director, University City Exchange, ASU


  • Melanie McArtor, senior associate, Gensler
  • Christopher Hawthorne, chief design officer, city of Los Angeles
  • Linda Dishman, president and CEO, Los Angeles Conservancy
  • Barbara Bouza, fellow of the American Institute of Architects; president, Walt Disney Imagineering