Name: Gertrude Lempp Kerbis
Date of Birth / Location: 1926 / Chicago, IL.
Date of Death / Location: June 14, 2016.
Education: Wright Community College in Chicago; University of Wisconsin. Bachelor's in Architectural Engineering, University of Illinois, 1948. Kerbis studied under Walter Gropius at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, 1949-1950. Master's of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 1954, where she studied under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Firms and Partnerships Carl Koch (1948–1949); Bertrand Goldberg (1949–1950); Loebl Schlossman & Bennett (1950–1951); Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1954–1959); Naess & Murphy (1959–1962) and (1965–1967); Kerbis started her own firm, Lempp Kerbis in 1967.
Professional Organizations & Activities: Co-founded the Chicago Women in Architecture Club (CWA) in 1973. Gert was the first female president of the Cliff Dwellers Club in Chicago. One of the first women in Chicago to begin her own architectural practice. Was also one of the first architects in general to act as both an architect and developer for one of her own projects (i.e. Greenhouse Condos). She taught at Harper Community College (Palatine) for 25 years. Lecturer at University of Illinois at Chicago; lecturer-at-large at Ball State University; lecturer-at-large at the Art Institute of Chicago; lecturer-in-the-field for Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; and an Associate Professor at William Rainey Harper College. Kerbis contributed to the designs of Lustron House, the US Air Force Academy, and O'Hare International Airport. She was a pioneer in working for the equal status of women in the field of architecture, founding the groups Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA) and the Chicago Network. Gert was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, elected to the AIA College of Fellows in 1970. She served as director of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1970-74.
Awards & Honors: In 2008, Gert Kerbis was given a Lifetime Achievment Award from the AIA Chicago Chapter. She was the first woman and only the third person to get this honor.
Primary Field: Architect
- Lake Meadows Clubhouse, approximately 3233 South King Drive Chicago, Illinois, 1960 (with SOM).
- Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton Street Skokie, Illinois, 1962 (with SOM).
- Seven Continents Restaurant at O'Hare International Airport, (with CF Murphy).
- Greenhouse Condominiums, 2131 North Clark Street Chicago, Illinois, 1976