Basic Biographical Details

Name: Andrew Lamb Mercer
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 July 1878
Died: 26 February 1959
Bio Notes: Andrew Lamb Mercer was born in Ayr on 4 July 1878, the son of John Mercer, civil engineer and architect, Ayr and his first wife Jane Buist. He was educated at Ayr Academy. As his father died in 1893 he was articled to William Kerr of Ayr c.1894 until 1898. He was an assistant first in Carlisle and then in Glasgow for the next two years, moving to Dublin as managing assistant to C N Ashworth in 1900. This appointment enabled him to marry Susan McFeat of Ayr in the same year, and to study structural engineering at Dublin Technical College.

Mercer commenced independent practice in Ayr in 1904 initially with small-scale domestic practice: but on 1 July 1905 his former master William Kerr died suddenly and in August he bought Kerr's practice to complete the work in hand and help Kerr's widow and young family. For a time Mercer was associated with James Archibald Morris whose partnership with James Kennedy Hunter had ended in 1895 while that with Alfred Chastel de Boinville in London had ended with the latter's death in 1897. This did not reach partnership stage and in 1911 Mercer recommenced practice in New Westminster, British Columbia. The reason quoted by Luxton was Mercer's dislike of his strict Presbyterian upbringing but the sharp downturn in business caused by the Finance Act of 1909 must have been a contributory factor. This move proved successful and in 1911 he merged his practice with that of Francis George Gardiner and his younger brother William F Gardiner under the title of Gardiner & Mercer. This partnership was initially extremely prosperous but the recession from 1913 onwards caused them to relocate to Birks Building in Vancouver where they practised as architects, steel and concrete engineers. The practice recovered after the Great War, partly due to Mercer's influential Liberal party connections, notable with Mackenzie King.

In 1940 the partnership of Gardiner & Mercer was dissolved Gardiner being unwilling to admit Mercer's eldest son John as a partner. The Mercer & Mercer practice was as successful as Gardiner & Mercer had been with major hospital, university, bank and industrial project.

Mercer died on 26 February 1959. He was red-haired and reputedly short of temper but commanded immense respect with contractors and devoted much of his time to social causes. His only recreation was golf for which he founded the Shaughnessy Golf Course. He married twice: after Susan died in 1929 he married Margaret Chapman in 1932. She had a further son Andrew.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 350, Alloway Street, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate/business1904 Building News 5 August 1904 p206
Item 2 of 3515, Westminster Trust Buildings, New Westminister, British Columbia, CanadaBusiness1909  
Item 3 of 3Wellington Chambers, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1911 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4William Kerrc. 18941898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4C N Ashworth1900 Senior Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Gardiner & Mercer19111940Partner 
Item 4 of 4Mercer & Mercer1940 Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 11904Three-Story TenementAyr AyrshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Journal of the Royal Architectural Inst of CanadaApril 1959v36, no4 p138