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Male, UK/US, born 1888-03-19, died 1949-03-01

Associated with the firms network

Bechtel, Warren A., and Company, Engineering and Construction; Fickett, Edward H., FAIA, Architect; Johnson and Kaufmann, Architects; Johnson, Kaufmann, and Coate, Architects; Kaufmann and Phillips, Architects; Kaufmann and Stanton, Architects; Kaufmann, Gordon B., Architect; Southeast Housing Architects, Associated

Professional History


Apprentice, Alfred William Stephen Cross, Architect, London, England, 1908-1910.

Draftsman, Pratt and Ross, Architects, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, 1911. (See Winnipeg, Manitoba, City Directory, 1911, p. 907)

Principal, Gordon Bernie Kaufmann, Architect, Vancouver, BC, and Kamloops, BC, Canada, 1911-1914.

Partner, Kaufmann and Phillips, Architects, Kamloops, BC, Canada, 1913-1914.

Draftsman, Los Angeles, CA, 1915.

Draftsman, Reginald Johnson, Architect, Pasadena, CA, c. 1916-1920. Kaufmann worked as a draftsman in Southern CA between 1915 and 1920 and did not become a licensed architect in the state until 1920. Architectural historian Donald Luxton indicated that he retained business interests in Vancouver: "Kaufmann also maintained his office in Vancouver until 1920, although it appears to have generated little work." (See Donald Luxton, "Gordon Bernie Kaufmann 1999-1949," in Building the West The Early Architects of British Columbia, Donald Luxton, ed., [Vancouver, BC: Talonbooks, 2003], pp.. 404-405.)

Partner, [Reginald] Johnson, Kaufmann, and [Roland, Sr.] Coate, Architects, Pasadena, CA, 1921-1925; the Pasadena City Directory of 1921 indicated that Kaufmann worked at 100 East Colorado Boulevard in Old Town, Pasadena (p. 413). This firm attracted many well-to-do clients for whom they designed large, period revival houses, often in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style.

Principal, Gordon B. Kaufmann, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, 1925-1942.

Supervising Architect, Works Progress Administration (WPA), Los Angeles, CA.

Colonel, U.S. Army, Chemical Warfare Service, Washington, D.C., c. 1942-1945; he was the Office Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service, and served between 08/13/1942 and 11/24/1945.

Partner, Kaufmann, Lippincott and Eggers, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, 1945-1947.

Partner, Kaufmann and [J.E.] Stanton, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, 1947-1949.

Professional Activities

Head, Southern Section, Building Congress of the California State Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles, CA, 1932;

Co-Supervising Architect (with Edwin Bergstrom), Works Progress Administration (WPA), Los Angeles County, 1933. Kaufmann was appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Architectural Consultant, U.S. Reclamation Bureau.

Architectural Consultant, Scripps College, Claremont, CA.

Architectural Consultant, Vultee Aircraft Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, 1939-1943; Kaufmann designed three manufacturing facilities for Vultee in Southern California.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1938.

Recipient, Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Medaille d'Or,, Paris, France, 1937. Kaufmann won a Gold Medal (for the Los Angeles Times Headquarters #2 in the Industrial and Commercial Architecture Division of the U.S. Pavilion at the Paris International Exposition of 1937.

He was awarded the Legion of Merit, for US Army service in World War II.


High School/College

Coursework, Hausa School, Bergedorf, Germany. c. 1895.

Graduate, Whitgift School, Croydon, England, 1899-1904.

Graduate, London Polytechnic Institute, London, UK, 1904-1908.



Born in Forest Hill, Lewisham, London, England, Kaufmann had a German father, Gustav Kaufmann, and an English mother, Matilda Isaacs. His early years were marked by frequent changes of address. It appears that Gustav Kaufmann maintained business interests in Germany, and he and his family moved back and forth from there during the 1880s-1890s, even after Gustav became a naturalized British citizen in 1888. Gustav and Matilda's last son, Harold, was born c. 1895 in Hamburg, Germany. (A Hamburg passenger list indicated that as late as 09/11/1920 Gustav and Matilda Kaufmann traveled between Hamburg and Grimsby, England, aboard the steamer S.S. Marylebone.) (See, Source Citation Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 281; Page: 260; Microfilm No.: K_1838, accessed 10/17/2019.)

Gordon attended schools in Bergedorf, Germany a suburb of Hamburg, and Croydon, England in south London, before working as an apprentice to the London architect, Alfred William Stephens Cross (1858-1932). After passing his Royal Institute of British Architects' registration exams, he moved back to Germany for a short time. Kaufmann then emigrated to Canada, where he lived for short periods in the cities of Montreal, QC and Winnipeg, MT. He married on 05/18/1911 to his first wife, Eva, in Montreal.

He came to Vancouver, BC, in 1911 and worked there into 1912. Luxton has written of Kaufmann's time in British Columbia in which he noted that the architect designed a good number of residences for well-to-do professionals, including the developer Charles Nelson Ecclestone, Sr., (born 1877 in ON), and a number of apartment blocks. (See Donald Luxton, "Gordon Bernie Kaufmann 1999-1949," in Building the West The Early Architects of British Columbia, Donald Luxton, ed., [Vancouver, BC: Talonbooks, 2003], pp.. 404-405.) Both of Kaufmann's children were born in Vancouver, in 1912 and 1913. Other work presented itself in the BC town of Kamloops, namely a commission for the Arcadia Building. He opened a Kamloops office in 1912 and worked in BC until 1914, when Canada's entry into World War I made having a German surname a liability. He relocated to Los Angeles, CA, likely due to hostility toward those of Germanic descent, although another reason cited was for the health of his wife.

After spending about three years in BC, he took a Great Northern Railway train through Blaine, WA, where he entered the US on 10/11/1914. He first settled in Fresno, CA, in 1914-1915, and relocated to Los Angeles by about 09/01/1915. In Los Angeles and Pasadena, Kaufmann moved repeatedly between his arrival in 1915 until the early 1930s. The Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1915 reported that Kaufmann lived at 5931 South Flower Street in that year (p. 1171). He moved to Pasadena, CA, by 1916, dwelling it a residence at 359 Piedmont Drive. (See Pasadena, California, City Directory, 1916, p. 215.) A year later, he, his wife and two children occupied at bungalow at 762 North Holliston Avenue, in Pasadena's Bungalow Heaven neighborhood. The Pasadena, California, City Directory, 1919, (p. 318), located him at 737 La Loma Drive. The US Census of 1920 documented Kaufmann, his wife, Eva, and their two sons living at 676 La Loma Road in Pasadena. Noted tilemaker Ernest A. Batchelder (1875-1957) lived nearby at 626 Arroyo Drive in 1920. A year later, they lived at 1600 East California Boulevard in Pasadena. By 1923, they had another Pasadena address at 365 South Menton Avenue. (See Pasadena, California, City Directory, 1923, p. 474.)

In 1930, he lived in a rented dwelling at 306 Westmoreland Avenue in Los Angeles with his son, Kenneth, and a German nephew, Gustav C. Kaufmann (born c. 1906 in Germany). His first wife, Eva, was not listed as living here in the 1930 Census, suggesting, perhaps, that she and he were separated by this time. (In 1933, she lived in Pasadena at 655 Prospect Crescent, as per her US naturalization form of 02/27/1933.) In 1930, Kaufmann lived two doors down from the architect Winchton L. Risley (1887-1975), and his wife, Una (1890-1942), who owned a house at 314 Westmoreland. Kaufmann, his second wife, and son lived at 620 South Sierra Bonita Avenue in Pasadena from at least 1933-1939.

The architect had moved to a rented house at 627 South Carondolet Street, near MacArthur Park, by 1940, residing here at the time of his death in 1949. In 1940, the Kaufmanns paid a hefty $150 per month rent for this house. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00420; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 60-992, accessed 10/15/2019.)

Kaufmann died of lung cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 60, and was buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, CA, next to his wife, Elsie, who survived him by 19 years. (See, Source Information California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 10/15/2019.) At his death, Kaufmann still had £320, 2s. 1d. in English bank accounts.


His father, Gustav Kaufmann, (born c. 1849 in Bavaria), was a German merchant who settled in England and his mother, Matilda Mary Isaacs, was born c. 1850 in Margate, Kent, England. (See, Source Citation Class: RG14; Piece: 3428; Schedule Number: 21, Source Information: 1911 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011, accessed 10/17/2019.) They married in St James, Hatcham, Lewisham, England, on 01/02/1878. (See, Source Citation London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: p75/js1/062, Source Information: London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 10/17/2019.)

Matilda's father, Elias, was a solicitor in London, while her mother, Rebcecca, (born c. 1815 in London, England), raised five children, four daughters and a son. The Isaacs Family was wealthy enough to afford a domestic servant in 1861, Rebecca Harvey, (born c. 1838 in Ely, England). (See, Source Citation Class: RG 9; Piece: 210; Folio: 132; Page: 16; GSU roll: 542592 Source Information: 1861 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005, accessed 10/17/2019.)

Gustav Kaufmann's British naturalization paperwork stated: "...That he is a natural-born subject of Bavaria, [and is] of the age of thirty nine years [and is] a commercial clerk [and is] married and has seven children under age, residing with him, viz., Gustavus Karl Kaufmann, aged 12 years, Stanley Kaufmann, aged 10 years, Ottomar Kaufmann, aged 9 years, Sigismund Kaufmann, aged 7 years, Francis Joseph Kaufmann, aged 5 years, Adele [Catherine Susie] Kaufmann, aged 3 years, and an infant." (See, Source Citation The National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England; Duplicate Certificates of Naturalisation, Declarations of British Nationality, and Declarations of Alienage; Class: HO 334; Piece: 16, accessed 10/17/2019.) The infant was Gordon Bernie Kaufmann. In addition to Gordon, Gustav and Matilda had one other child, Harold Kaufmann (born c. 1895 in Hamburg, Germany.)

In 1911, Gustav and Matilda resided in Wallington, in the region of London. When Gordon Kaufmann entered the US in 1914, his immigration manifest noted that his father resided in Littlestone, Kent, England. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Passengers Arriving at St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 - 2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: M1464; Roll Number: 272, accessed 10/15/2019.)


Kaufmann married twice. He first wed Eva Alberta Saint Denis-MacFarlane (born 04/19/1882 in London, England) on 05/18/1911 in Montreal, QC. He was married to her from 1911 until at least 1923. Eva's parents were born in Canada.

He married his second wife, Elsie S. Bryant (b. 04/24/1890 in Hoboken, NJ-d. 06/07/1968) on 08/04/1933 in Los Angeles.


He and his first wife had 2 children: a son, Kenneth MacFarlane Kaufmann (born 04/01/1912 in Vancouver, BC), who resided with his parents in 1936 and worked as a draftsman for his father. He lived in Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA, at the time of his father's passing; a daughter, Cecil, was born 12/09/1913 in Vancouver, BC, and also resided at home in 1936. She had married by 1949, and was known as "Mrs. Thomas E. Dawson," living in Flintridge, CA.

Biographical Notes

Various sources have listed different birth dates for Kaufmann. Luxton had it as 03/19/1881. (See Donald Luxton, "Gordon Bernie Kaufmann 1999-1949," in Building the West The Early Architects of British Columbia, Donald Luxton, ed., [Vancouver, BC: Talonbooks, 2003], p.. 404.) A US naturalization form of 02/27/1933 for his first wife, Eva, listed it as 04/19/1882. (See, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; Microfilm Roll: 172; Microfilm Serial: M1524, accessed 10/15/2019.) A funeral home record filled out by his second wife listed the birthdate as 03/19/1888. (See, Source Information California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 10/15/2019.) His naturalization form of 10/11/1933 and World War I and World War II draft registration cards also listed 03/19/1888. (See, Source Citation Registration State: California; Registration County: Los Angeles; Roll: 1531272; Draft Board: 1, accessed 10/15/2019.and, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; Microfilm Roll: 36; Microfilm Serial: M1524, accessed 10/15/2019.)

Kaufmann's middle name was listed as "Beni" in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, Births registered in April, May and June 1888, p. 302. (See, Source Information FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006, accessed 10/17/2019.)

Member, California Club, Los Angeles, CA.

Member, Bohemian Club, San Francisco, CA.

President, Boy Scouts of America, Los Angeles Council, 1948. Kaufmann had one son in the Boy Scouts.

Kaufmann applied for naturalization in the US twice, first on 06/24/1915 in the Superior Court of Fresno, CA, and then on 10/11/1933 in Los Angeles, and was granted citizenship on 05/04/1936, in the Southern District Federal Court, Central Division, Los Angeles, CA. (The naturalization certificate was dated 11/27/1936.) The contractor Karl P. Lowell and the architect Rowland A. Crawford (1902-1973) served as witnesses at his naturalization. Lowell and Crawford testified that they had known Kaufmann since 01/01/1931.

His naturalization and World War II draft registration forms indicated that he stood 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds, with a medium to light Euro-American complexion and gray eyes. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of California; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147, accessed 10/15/2019.)

Associated Locations

  • Forest Hill, London, England UK (Architect's Birth)
    Forest Hill, London, England UK

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PCAD id: 306

Acadia Office Building, Kamloops, BC, Canada1913
Aluminum Corporation of America, Incorporated, (Alcoa), Factory, Vernon, CA1938VernonCA
Architects' Building Material Exhibit House, Los Angeles, CA1930Los AngelesCA
Arrowhead Hot Springs Hotel #4, San Bernardino, CA1939San BernardinoCA
Benedict, Harry E., House, Rancho Palos Verdes, CARancho Palos VerdesCA
Bent, Arthur S., House #4, Bel-Air, Los Angeles, CA1930Los AngelesCA
Bingham, Herbert, House, Shaughnessy Heights, Vancouver, BC, Canada1913-1914
Boulder Dam, Black Canyon, Colorado River, NV-AZ Border1931-1936Colorado RiverNV
Boy Scouts of America, Camp Arthur Letts, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA1924Los AngelesCA
Braly, Harold Hyde, House, Hancock Park, Los Angeles, CA1923-1924Los AngelesCA
Busteed, E.F., House, Kamloops, BC, Canada1913
California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Athenaeum, Pasadena, CA1930PasadenaCA
California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, Hale Solar Laboratory, Pasadena, CA1924PasadenaCA
Carroll's, Earl, Hollywood Theater and Restaurant, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1938Los AngelesCA
City of Los Angeles, Police Department (LAPD), Police Administration Building (PAB) #1, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1952-1955Los AngelesCA
Claremont College, Honnold Library, Claremont, CAClaremontCA
Crandall, E.E., Apartment House, Vancouver, BC, Canada1912
Doheny, Edward Laurence, Jr., and Lucy, House #2, Beverly Hills, CA1927-1928Beverly HillsCA
Ecclestone, C. Nelson, House, Vancouver, BC, Canada1912-1913
Ecclestone, Charles Nelson, Sr., Speculative Duplex House #1, Vancouver, BC, Canada1911
Ecclestone, Charles Nelson, Sr., Speculative Duplex House #2, Vancouver, BC, Canada1911
Eisner, J., House, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, All Saints' Episcopal Church #2, Pasadena, CA1923-1924PasadenaCA
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral #2, Los Angeles, CA1924-1925Los AngelesCA
Getz, Milton E., House, Beverly Hills, CA1926Beverly HillsCA
Grant, E.J., House, Beverly Hills, CABeverly HillsCA
Griffith House, Oak Knoll, Pasadena, CA1924PasadenaCA
Grubbe, E.H., House, Kamloops, BC, Canada1912
Hanscome House, Vancouver, BC, Canada1912
Harris, Matthew Albert, House, Woodside, CAWoodsideCA
Henderson, Robert, House, Hillsborough, CAHillsboroughCA
Hibbert, W.J.C., House, Kamloops, BC, Canada1913
Holmby Hall, Westwood, Los Angeles, CA1929Los AngelesCA
Kaufmann, Gordon B., House #1, Bel-Air, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Kaufmann, Gordon B., House #2, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Killam, Cecil, House, Vancouver, BC. Canada1913
La Quinta Hotel, La Quinta, CA1926La QuintaCA
Le Patourel and McRae Apartments and Stores, Vancouver, BC, Canada1912
Lohman, Lewis, House, Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Los Angeles Hospital of the Good Samaritan #3, Los Angeles, CA1926Los AngelesCA
Los Angeles Opera House Project, Los Angeles, CA1948Los AngelesCA
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), San Pedro High School #2, San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA1935-1937Los AngelesCA
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Metlife), Park La Brea Housing Complex, Central Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA1941-1948Los AngelesCA
Meyer, Benjamin R., House, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Millikan, Robert Andrews, House, San Marino, CA1929San MarinoCA
Mitau, Martin, House, Atherton, CAAthertonCA
Mott, D.H., Apartments, Vancouver, BC, Canada1912
Palladium Night Club, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1940Hollywood, Los AngelesCA
Pierce, Cyrus, House, La Quinta, CA1925La QuintaCA
Pueblo del Rio Public Housing, Vernon, CA1940-1941VernonCA
Royal Laundry Company, Office and Laundry Building, Pasadena, CA1927PasadenaCA
Santa Anita Race Track #2, Arcadia, CA1933-1934ArcadiaCA
Scripps College, Clark, Grace Scripps, Hall, Claremont, CA1927-1928ClaremontCA
Scripps College, Denison, Ella Strong, Library, Claremont, CA1930-1931ClaremontCA
Scripps College, Dormitory, Claremont, CA1929ClaremontCA
Scripps College, Library, Claremont, CAClaremontCA
Scripps College, Master Plan, Claremont, CA1926ClaremontCA
Scripps College, Revelle, Ellen Clark, House, Claremont, CA1928
Scripps College, Toll, Eleanor Joy, Hall, Claremont, CA1927ClaremontCA
Times-Mirror Company, Los Angeles Times Building #4, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1931-1935Los AngelesCA
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