Papers of Gertrude Leverkus

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 7GLE
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 7/YY16; 7/YYY16
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      0.5 A box (1 folder)

Scope and Content

The archive consists of a typescript autobiography, written in 1976, entitled 'Auntie Gertrude's Life', 1889-1976.

Administrative / Biographical History

Gertrude Leverkus (1899-1976) was born in Oldenberg in Germany in Sep 1898 just before her family moved permanently to Manchester. From 1910, they settled in Forest Hill outside of London where Leverkus attended Sydenham High School. She proceeded to attend London University College before going to work in an architect's office. She then went on to study architecture, again at London University College, passed the Royal Institute of British Architects' exams and took the Town Planning Certificate in 1925. She was given several commissions for work after this and in 1930 she was appointed architect to the Women's Pioneer Housing Limited and undertook the conversion of around forty large properties into small flats for single women. In the early 1930s she also went into partnership with Eleanor KD Hughes before being commissioned to design the Out Patients' Department at the Annie McCall Maternity Hospital in Clapham. Her place in the profession was demonstrated by her election to the post of Secretary of the Women's Committee of the Royal Institute of British Architects in the late 1930s. During the Second World War, Leverkus was appointed as an organiser of evacuees from London. From 1940 she was officially known as the organiser for the Borough of Holborn, working with the Food Advice Bureau and the National Savings Campaign in joint work. However, this work ended in 1943 when she was appointed the Housing Architect in the Borough Architecture and Town Planning Office of West Ham, a position she would hold throughout the time when the area was a used as a model for new theories in housing. She resigned in 1948 and began work for Norman and Dawbarn where she would stay until her retirement at the age of 62 in 1960. During this period she became involved with the Women's Provisional Club. She spent the rest of her life acting as a governor of the Brixton School of Building and nursing her sisters. She died in 1976.

Access Information

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

The typescript was donated to the library by Kathleen Halpin, a friend of Miss Leverkus, in 1997.

Other Finding Aids

Fonds Description (1 folder only)