Perry House

The Gershuny Library Project

Heritage Square Museum is planning an exciting new addition to the museum facilities - a research library focused on architecture, fashion history, historic design, and the arts. With some initial funding from the Gershuny Family to begin construction, the museum still needs additional funding to bring this project to fruition. We are asking our friends and supporters to make this dream a reality.

With $40,000 still needed to complete the construction, we need your help!

Your name will be permanently displayed in one of the library rooms* plus you will receive a three-year family membership, free admission to all annual museum events including the Holiday Lamplight, Halloween Mourning Tours, and the Vintage Fashion Show, as well as 25% off all merchandise in the museum store.

You will receive a three-year family membership plus free admission to all annual museum events, and 25% off all merchandise in the museum store.

You will receive a one-year family membership plus free admission to all annual museum events.

You will receive a one-year family membership.

*This includes the reading room, the library/stacks room and the second-floor hall where the waiting room will be located.

Every little bit helps! If you are not able to donate at one of the recommended levels, even smaller donations can add up to a big boost for this exciting museum addition.

Who is Justin Gershuny?

Justin Gershuny photo

Justin Gershuny was one of the founders of Heritage Square Museum (HSM), and was a leader in preserving architectural structures in the greater Los Angeles area for more than four decades. An architect himself, Gershuny worked for leading architectural firms including WWCOT Architecture of Santa Monica and O’Leary Terasawa Partners of Los Angeles, and was a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). As a long time HSM board member, he was a leading proponent of bringing most of the historic structures that are now on display at the museum.

The Gershuny Library

After his death in 2009, the Gershuny family and the museum envisioned a memorial library in Justin Gershuny’s name that would provide a place of study for those doing research in the areas of architecture, fashion history, historic design, or the arts.

Gershuny Library floor plan

The library will be located on the second floor of the William Hayes Perry Residence, which, built in 1876, is the oldest structure at the museum. The library will be supervised by an HSM staff member acquainted with the contents of the library that can assist those who wish to use the “by appointment only” reading room. The library itself will include a reading room, library stacks, and a waiting area in the stair hall. The reading room will be a comfortable and historically-based space for those wishing to view items from the museum collection and will include a large study table as well as several corners where individuals can read. In addition, it will contain a small work area for a librarian. The stacks will be located in the adjacent rear bedroom on the north side of the Perry House. It will contain a librarian’s work area, an area to view oversized or delicate items, and a large expanse of shelves to house the museum’s extensive collection of literature. The hallway will contain a small waiting area for those waiting for their appointment times.

In addition to being a place for research, the museum staff plans to incorporate the library into visitor tours and the museum’s educational program (A Golden Vision), expanding the museum’s tools for educating the public about California’s history from late 19th Century through the early 20th-century.

Scope of Work

The Reading Room will require the most alteration. To restore it to a historically accurate space, many missing features will need to be recreated or replaced. The Library/Stacks will require temperature and humidity control system to guarantee the safekeeping of the valuable historic artifacts. Functionality upgrades will need to be made to the light fixtures and the door hardware. The Stair Hall, where the waiting area will be located, will require both functional additions and cosmetic fixes. The walls will need to be patched, primed, and painted, and the heart pine flooring will need to be repaired. Electrical units will need to be tested and upgraded by an electrician. Cosmetic restorations will also be needed, included restoring the molding and trim, the original wood graining on the doors, and replacing the modern lighting fixtures beside the coffin niche in the stairway bend with antique sconces.

We Need Your Help!

The Gershuny Family has generously donated the initial funding for the library, but Heritage Square Museum needs more funding from people like you to bring this project to fruition. We are asking our friends and supporters to make this dream a reality. We need to raise $40,000 to complete the construction.

For more information please contact Executive Director Kori Capaldi at kcapaldi(at) or (323) 225-2700 ext. 221