The century-old YWCA Harbor Area and South Bay, designed by Julia Morgan, could be getting a modern addition in the form of affordable housing.

Plans calls for the addition of approximately 35 one- and two-bedroom apartments to the property at 437 W. 9th Street, according to SPF:architects, which is designing the proposed development.  The project would cater to single women with children, and thus would also include an on-site daycare center.

"The YWCA of the South Bay and Harbor Area’s motto is to ‘Eliminate Racism and Empower Women.’ How better to live our motto than to meet one of the great social challenges of the day head on by providing permanent supportive housing?” says Julie Wichmann Huerta, President of the YWCA Harbor Area and South Bay in a statement. “This will give homeless women and their families the stability and support services to not only survive but also thrive in the community. This will be life changing for families in our community.

The project, which is being developed by Grapevine Economic Development Fund, is still in its planning stages.  According to SPF, the development team is still determining the most cost-effective approach to the project.

Julia Morgan, in addition to her various works for media titan William Randolph Hearst, designed numerous YWCA facilities on the West Coast.

"If you look at Julia Morgan's work, you'll see she wasn't drawn to any specific style of architecture - she did it all," said SPF Founder and Principal Zoltan Pali.  "What she really cared about was how her spaces would be lived in.  We want the new building to embody this architectural spirit.  It will pay tribute to the historic structure but also the community it exists in."

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