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Frank Kerr papers

Identifier: N151

Scope and Content Note

The collections consists of over 300 sets of working drawings for a variety of residences, churches and commercial buildings. In addition, there are photographs, job files, and specifications and other subsidiary material for a number of these commissions.


  • 1942-1989

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Archives reading room.

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of materials in this collection. Copies can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Biographical note

Francis (Frank) K. Kerr was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on May 22, 1914. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1935, having moved from Montreal in 1923. He attended George Washington University and received a B. Arch. in 1938 from that institution.

He began his architectural career as an architectural aide in the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) in Washington, D.C., remaining with that organization as an underwriter and cost engineer until 1946. After practicing for a year with an architectural firm in Washington, D.C., he was commissioned to do design work for the noted firm of Hills, Gilbertson and Hayes in 1948, and re-located to Minneapolis, MN.

He had joined forces in 1947 with Harlan McClure to form McClure and Kerr Architects, working evenings and weekends at first. He practiced architecture with the firm of McClure and Kerr Architects until 1955, after which he was in independent practice until 1957. At that time he formed the firm of Kerr-Johnson, partnering with Harley H. Johnson. They were selected to continue the practice of Bard and Vanderbilt, a well-known local architecture firm specializing in churches. The firm of Kerr-Johnson was dissolved in 1960 and Frank Kerr continued in active practice.

Frank Kerr’s architectural practice has included institutional, commercial and residential buildings, and town planning throughout his career. In addition to his architectural work, Mr. Kerr was active in various civic and cultural organizations, including the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Artists Association.


40 Cubic Feet


Collection contains plans, job files, specifications and photographs for over 300 commissions by architect Frank Kerr; this includes designs commissioned for the various partnerships with which he was associated, such as Kerr-Johnson Architects.


The collection is organized into two series:

  1. Working drawings
  2. Foldered materials

Physical Location



The collection was donated to the Northwest Architectural Archives by the architect, Frank Kerr, in 1996.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by student archives assistant Keiko Moody in 1995, and the EAD finding aid written by Barbara Bezat, 2008.

Frank Kerr Papers
Barbara Bezat
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area