Harley Ellis Devereaux merges with Deems Lewis McKinley

The combination is expected to bolster HED’s presence in northern California and the K-12 sector.

January 19, 2017 |

An aerial view of the Susan B. Anthony School in Daly City, Calif., one of the signature projects of Deems Lewis McKinley, which specializes in K-12 design. Image: DLM

Southfield, Mich.-based architectural firm Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) is joining forces with Deems Lewis McKinley (DLM), a 57-year-old architecture and engineering services firm headquartered in San Franicisco.

The merger, whose terms were not disclosed, is expected to strengthen HED’s presence in the K-12 and Community Education markets, where DLM has established itself as a recognized leader. (Its tagline is “Improving Education through Design,” and 95% of its clients are educational institutions.)

Among its featured projects in that sector is the Bay Farm Elementary School in the Alameda (Calif.) Unified School District, whose eight-acre campus is surrounded on three sides by single-family residences, and adjoined by a five-acre city park. DLM also designed the new 44,000-sf Susan B. Anthony School in Daly City, Calif., which resembles a modern version of a red brick schoolhouse.

This merger expands HED’s presence in California’s Bay Area and Sacramento, DLM’s two primary markets. Prior to this agreement, HED had been managing its accounts and projects in Northern California mostly out of its office in Los Angeles, according to a company spokesperson. Next month, DLM’s staff in San Francisco will relocate to HED’s San Francisco office, which is currently being enlarged. DLM’s employees working out of its Sacramento office will stay there.

“We are looking forward to merging the talents of our two teams and are excited to be part of a very talented studio with deep resources,” says Wallace B. (Wally) Gordon, AIA, LEED AP, President and Chief Executive Officer of DLM, who is staying stay on with HED along with DLM’s principals and senior associates. The one person working in DLM’s office in San Diego—where the firm was founded—will now work from HED’s 20-person office in that city.

Prior to this agreement, HED had 380 employees working from offices in Chicago, Detroit, L.A., San Diego, and San Francisco.

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