William Merchant (1915-2000) and Hans Gerson
Hans U. Gerson was born in Hamburg, Germany and fled to England in 1934. He became a registered architect in England in 1940 and immigrated to California in 1946. Gerson joined the firm of William G. Merchant & Associates in 1949 and took over the firm when Merchant died in 1962. He later formed the firm Gerson/Overstreet with Harry Overstreet in 1968.
Significant projects contained in this collection include the Palace of Fine Arts reconstruction material and records related to the proposed, but unbuilt, World Trade Center at the Ferry Building.
The Merchant/Gerson Collection spans the years 1897-1993 and consists of records, drawings, specifications, and photographs relating to the architectural careers of William G. Merchant and Hans U. Gerson. The collection contains primarily records of the architectural firms William G. Merchant, AIA and William G. Merchant & Associates with some additional records of Bernard Maybeck and the firm Gerson/Overstreet. Merchant began the reconstruction of the Maybeck's Palace of Fine Arts from the Panama Pacific International Exposition and the project was completed by Gerson following Merchant's death. Other projects include the Acme Brewing Company, Bernal Dwellings Housing Project, various projects from the Golden Gate International Exposition, and a number of synagogues.