Maginnis & Walsh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Gasson Hall at Boston College in 1908
Bronze doors to St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan in 1949

Maginnis & Walsh was an Boston-based architecture firm started by Charles Donagh Maginnis and Timothy Francis Walsh in 1905. It was known for its innovative design of churches in Boston in the first half of the 20th century.


Maginnis was born January 7, 1867, in Derry, Ireland. He emigrated to Boston at age 18 and got his first job apprenticing for architect Edmund M. Wheelwright as a draftsman. Influenced by the work of modern architect Ralph Adams Cram, Maginnis became a distinguished Gothic architect and an articulate writer and orator on the role of architecture in society. In 1948, Maginnis received the AIA Gold Medal for "outstanding service to American architecture," the highest award in the profession. He died in 1955 at the age of 88 in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Timothy Francis Walsh was born in 1868 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He attended The English High School in Boston, and worked as a draftsman for Peabody and Stearns from 1887 to 1893, when he left to study in Europe. Walsh returned to Boston in 1895 and went into business as Walsh & Kearns. He worked as a solo practitioner in 1896 and 1897, and 1898 went into partnership with Charles Donagh Maginnis and Matthew Sullivan. He died on July 7, 1934, at the age of 66 in North Scituate, Massachusetts.[1]

Matthew Sullivan was born in Boston and trained in the office of Edmund M. Wheelwright, Boston City Architect (1891-1894). Sullivan succeeded Wheelwright as City Architect and served in that position from 1895 to 1901, when he became a junior partner in the firm of Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan, which was widely known for its ecclesiastical work. He withdrew from that partnership to carry on work independently in 1906.

Between the firm's founding in 1898 and the death of Timothy Walsh in 1934, the firm is credited with over 115 ecclesiastical works. The Maginnis and Walsh collection at the Boston Public Library contains work of the architectural firm from 1913 to 1952.

Eugene F. Kennedy Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York City, on January 31, 1904, to Eugene F. Kennedy Sr. and Anna T. Lee. The family had moved to the Boston area by 1910. In 1924, he was awarded the Rotch Traveling Scholarship, established by architect Arthur Rotch to provide an American student of architecture a minimum of eight months study and travel abroad.[2] Kennedy joined M&W in 1926, and married Carol Gertrude Fox (1903-1975) in 1928. He became a senior partner in the firm in 1941, which became known as Maginnis and Walsh and Kennedy. Kennedy died November 7, 1986, in Jamaica Plain, Boston.[3]

Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan (1898–1905)[edit]

St. John the Evangelist Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Diocese of Worcester (1898). (very influential, referred to as the 'Concord Bridge' of Catholic church architecture, Maginnis' first church).[4]
  • St. John the Evangelist Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts: The church was built in 1904, largely built by Irish immigrants. House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill, was a lifelong parishioner.[5] Modeled after a 12th-century Lombardo-Romanesque basilica, of four gold medals awarded to Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan from the American Institute of Architects, one was for St. John's. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
  • St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Los Angeles: The Mission Revival style church was built in 1904. The Los Angeles Times, said, "In its character this church unites itself with the days of the humble followers of St. Francis, as it is the same form and the same faith, is to a great degree of the same style of architecture and is carried on by the same authority as that of the olden days."[6]

Brighton, Massachusetts[edit]

Now a neighborhood of Boston, Brighton was a farming community just northwest of the city. The farms became estates, the estates came into the possession of religious institutes. M&W had a number of commissions in Brighton.

One of the earliest was St. John's Seminary Chapel in Brighton, designed in 1898 in the Romanesque Revival style. It was constructed in 1899 of yellow and gray Brighton pudding stone with limestone trimmings.[7] Our Lady of the Presentation Catholic Church in the Oak Square neighborhood of the Brighton section of Boston was begun in 1913 and completed in 1921. The parish closed in 2005; in 2013 the building was reopened as St. John's Seminary Our Lady of the Presentation Lecture Hall and Library.[8]

The Convent of the Sisters of the Cenacle in Brighton was built in 1911. The building now houses the EF Language Institute.

In 1908, the Passionist Fathers purchased the David Nevins Estate in Brighton and built St. Gabriel's Monastery. In 1927, M&W was engaged to design a church to replace the chapel.[9] St. Gabriel's is in the Renaissance Revival architecture style, constructed of buff-colored brick with cast stone accents and red mission tile roof. Due to personnel shortages, the monastery closed in 1978; St. Gabriel's Parish Church in 2006.[10] In 2017 plans were approved to convert the monastery property into a combination of condominiums and apartments, largely geared to graduate students. The plan also has an affordable housing component. St. Gabriel's Church is to be retained and renovated as a community center.

Maginnis and Walsh (1906–1940)[edit]

The Administration Building at Emmanuel College in Boston

In the Boston area, the firm built St. Catherine of Genoa Church on Spring Hill in Somerville, Massachusetts, regarded as a masterpiece. St. Catherine's, was begun in 1907 and completed in 1921. In July 2019, St. Catherine's. St. Ann's, and St. Thomas merged to form Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin Parish; masses are still scheduled at St. Catherine's.[11]

St. Mary's School in Taunton, Massachusetts, built in 1907, is a three-story brick building in Collegiate Gothic style. The Girls' Latin School, Huntington Avenue Building was built in 1907 in collaboration with Peabody & Stearns and Coolidge & Carlson.

In 1914, the firm designed the administration building of Emmanuel College. Located in the Fens area of Boston, it was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and opened in 1919 as the first women's Catholic college in New England. For thirty years, it was the only building on campus.[12]

The firm also designed St. Edward's church in Brockton, Massachusetts, in 1914.[13] St. Edward's Church was founded in 1915, and merged with St. Nicholas Church in Abington, Massachusetts, in 2003, with the combined parish being renamed St. Edith Stein. St. Edith Stein parish bears striking resemblance to Ascension of Our Lord Church in Montreal, Canada, which is another church designed by the firm.[14][15][circular reference]

The Church of Ascension of Our Lord was built between 1927 and 1928, for the English-speaking Roman Catholic population in Westmount municipality of Montreal, Canada, on land originally belonging to the Grey Nuns. It was designed by Maginnis & Walsh of Boston, with Edward J. Turcotte of Montreal as Associate Architect. Its architect, Maginnis & Walsh was “based in Boston and was considered the foremost specialist in Catholic ecclesiastical architecture of the period. The church is built on a monumental scale. Although its architectural style looks to the Gothic churches of Europe, its construction was modern for the period: a steel frame, encased in brick or concrete and clad in Montreal limestone, with Berea sandstone trim. The plan is a conventional Latin cross, the intersection of the nave and the transepts marked by an imposing bell tower. The front façade, facing Sherbrooke Street, is dominated by a gabled wall, flanked by shallow buttresses. Three lancet windows surmount a secondary, projecting gable, which contains the central entrance.”[16] Ascension of Our Lord Church's design may be based on or influenced by the firm's 1914 design of St. Edward's Church (now St. Edith Stein Church) in Brockton, MA.[14][15][circular reference]

In 1929 the firm designed Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange, New Jersey, in the French Gothic style, to replace the 1889 St Mary's.[17]

Boston College, Chestnut Hill[edit]

Bapst Library, Seat of Wisdom

Maginnis & Walsh won the bid to build the new campus of Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Designed by Maginnis, in 1908, the Boston College campus is a seminal example of Collegiate Gothic architecture. Combining Gothic Revival architecture with principles of Beaux-Arts planning, Maginnis proposed a vast complex of academic buildings set in a cruciform plan. The design suggested an enormous outdoor cathedral, with the long entry drive at the "nave," the main quadrangle at the "apse" and secondary quadrangles at the "transepts."

Maginnis's design broke from the traditional Oxbridge models that had inspired it, and that had until then characterized Gothic architecture on American campuses. At the "crossing", Maginnis placed the university's main building. Using stone quarried on the site, the building was constructed at the highest point on Chestnut Hill, commanding a view of the surrounding landscape and the city to the east. In its unprecedented scale, Gasson Tower was conceived not as the belfry of a singular building, but as the crowning campanile of Maginnis' new "city upon a hill". Dominated by a soaring 200-foot bell tower, Recitation Hall was known simply as the "Tower Building" when it finally opened in 1913. Gasson Hall is credited for the typology of dominant Gothic towers in subsequent campus designs, including those at Princeton University (Cleveland Tower, 1913–1917), Yale University (Harkness Tower, 1917–1921), and Duke University (Chapel Tower, 1930–1935).

Although Maginnis' ambitious Gothic project never saw full completion due to the Wall Street Crash of 1929, its central portion was built according to plan and forms the core of what is now Boston College's middle campus. According to Boston College historian, Fr. Charles F. Donovan, Gasson Hall (1913), the signature building of Boston College, St. Mary's Hall and Chapel (1917), Devlin Hall (1924), and Bapst Library (commissioned 1922, completed 1928), called the "finest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in America"), are the "original architectural gems" of the campus.[18]

In 1926, the Devlin Hall science building won the Harleston Parker Medal for "most beautiful building in Boston". M&W also built Fulton Hall (1948), Lyons Hall (1951), St. Thomas More Hall (1954 -demolished 2014), and Campion (1955).[19]

Maginnis also designed the chancel at Trinity Church in Copley Square, the high altar at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan, and the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower on the summit of Mount Greylock.

The firm also built St. Aidan's Church in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1911, where Maginnis was a parishioner and where former U.S. President John F. Kennedy was christened; St. Aidan's, has since been closed and converted to housing.

Maginnis and Walsh and Kennedy (1941–1956)[edit]

Maginnis designed the bronze doors at St. Patrick's Cathedral to replace the original wooden ones. Each 16 1/2-foot by 5 1/2-foot door weighs 9,200 pounds and is decorated with sculptures of saints created by John Angel. The doors were blessed by Cardinal Spellman and opened for the first time just before Christmas 1949. In 2013, the doors underwent a major conservation and restoration.[20]

Maginnis and Walsh were the original architects for St. Julia Church, in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1919. The firm returned in 1961 to design an addition to the back of St. Julia Church to increase seating capacity.[21]


Archdiocese of Boston[edit]

Diocese of Worcester[edit]

Diocese of Fall River[edit]

Diocese of Springfield[edit]

Blessed Sacrament Church, Northampton, Massachusetts

Diocese of Providence[edit]

Diocese of Burlington, Vermont[edit]

Diocese of Portland, Maine[edit]

Archdiocese of Hartford[edit]

Archdiocese of Cincinnati[edit]

Archdiocese of New York[edit]

Diocese of Brooklyn[edit]

Diocese of Albany[edit]

Diocese of Ogdensburg[edit]

Diocese of Marquette (Michigan)[edit]

Archdiocese of Newark[edit]

Archdiocese of Baltimore[edit]

Archdiocese of Philadelphia[edit]

Diocese of Scranton[edit]

Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.[edit]

St. Gabriel's Church on Grant Circle in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Diocese of Gary, Indiana[edit]

Archdiocese of Milwaukee[edit]

Archdiocese of San Francisco[edit]

Archdiocese of Los Angeles[edit]

Archdiocese of Dubuque[edit]

Diocese of Des Moines[edit]

Diocese of Cheyenne[edit]

Schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries[edit]

Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.[edit]

Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, MD[edit]

College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA[edit]

Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart[edit]

Regis High School, New York City, NY[45][edit]

Sacred Heart School, Fall River, MA[46][edit]

Saint Joseph's School, Wakefield, MA – 1924[47][edit]

Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT[edit]

  • McDonough and Mercy Halls – 1935[48]

St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD[edit]

  • Main Administration Building – 1929 (Beaux Arts Classical Revival Style)

Trinity Washington University (formerly Trinity College), Washington, D.C.[edit]

University of Northwestern - St. Paul (formerly Northwestern College) St. Paul, MN[edit]

  • Nazareth Hall – 1923[52]
  • Nazareth Hall Chapel – 1923[53]
  • Island Chapel and Peninsula – 1925[54]

University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN[55][edit]


Boston Children's Hospital[edit]

References to "Children's Hospital" are found in "[Boston] City Auditor's of the Receipts and Expenses" Reports (1912–1913, 1913–1914, 1914–1915); and the "Documents City of Boston, For The Year 1914."

Uncertain if this facility is within the "Boston Consumptives Hospital" campus or a separate facility altogether.

Boston Consumptives Hospital (Boston Sanatorium)[edit]

A "tuberculosis hospital," this 52-acres campus had 18 buildings[63]), Dorchester, MA[64][65]

  • Administration or Foley Building (1910, 1928–1930), the largest building on campus
  • Doctors' residences, Dormitories or Wards (4) (ca. 1910), currently vacant and are decaying as of 2016
  • The Power House (1903)

Outside United States[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jennings, Jan (June 28, 2005). "Cheap and Tasteful Dwellings: Design Competitions and the Convenient Interior, 1879-1909". Univ. of Tennessee Press. Retrieved June 28, 2023 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Rotch - About - The Rotch Trust". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  3. ^ ""Eugene F. Kennedy, Prominent Church Architect, Dead at 82", AP News, November 9, 1986". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  4. ^ "Church History" (PDF). St. Patrick's RCC Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Bioguide Search".
  6. ^ "Is Dedicated To St. Thomas: Solemnities of Opening of Fine New Church; Gathering of Catholics on Pico Heights". Los Angeles Times. February 20, 1905.
  7. ^ "St John's Seminary History". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  8. ^ "Seminary dedicates new lecture hall and library in Brighton". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  9. ^ "Brighton, Massachusetts", Passionist Historical Archives
  10. ^ Eliot C.P., Roger. "The Closing of St. Gabriel's in Brighton", Passionist Historical Archives
  11. ^ "Three Somerville parishes to merge July 1. Published 6/7/2019". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  12. ^ ""Administration Building", Emmanuel College". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  13. ^ "St. Edwards Church, Brockton, MA, 1914, Original Plan | #1040217319". Worthpoint. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  14. ^ a b "St. Edward's Church, Montello, Brockton, Mass".
  15. ^ a b "File:Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Parish, Westmount, Montreal.JPG - Wikipedia".
  16. ^ a b "THE HERITAGE VALUE STATEMENT, ASCENSION OF OUR LORD CHURCH". Archived from the original (PDF) on October 22, 2022. Retrieved October 22, 2022. Ascension of Our Lord Church, Westmount, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  17. ^ "Our Lady of Sorrows – 217 Prospect Street South Orange, NJ 07079". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  18. ^ ""Campus Guide", Boston College". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  19. ^ Index of /issues/fall_2014/endnotes/workhouse.html Birnbaum, Ben. "The Brief, Effective Life of More Hall", Boston College Magazine, Fall 2014]
  20. ^ "St. Patrick's Cathedral Shows Off Restored Bronze Doors - CBS New York". August 14, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  21. ^ "St. Julia Church". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  22. ^ St. Aiden Church, Brookline Ma
  23. ^ "St. Edith Stein a miracle in Brockton".
  24. ^ a b College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
  25. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 453. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7.
  26. ^ Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, baltimore Maryland
  27. ^ Tucker, Gregory W. (January 1, 2000). America's Church: The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Our Sunday Visitor Pub. ISBN 978-0-87973-700-9.
  28. ^ Sacred Heart Church, Washington DC
  29. ^ drawing of New Apostolic Mission House
  30. ^ Carmelite Monastery, Santa Clara, California
  31. ^ Newspaper articles on restoration of All Saints Church, Stuart IA
  32. ^ "&&& @@@ *** >1912>#; 3 long quotes, to be indented". Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2011. St. Joseph Childrens Home, Torrington, Wyoming
  33. ^ "Visit-National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception". Archived from the original on December 5, 2008.
  34. ^ "Architecture-National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception". Archived from the original on December 6, 2008.
  35. ^ National Register of Historic Places (Form)
  36. ^ "Maginnis & Walsh (fl. 1908 - 1955) -- project list -- Philadelphia Architects and Buildings". Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  37. ^ "Artstor".
  38. ^ "WAM | Architecture by Charles Donagh Maginnis".
  39. ^ "Dinand Library | College of the Holy Cross".
  40. ^ "Artstor".
  41. ^ "Artstor".
  42. ^ "College of the Holy Cross".
  43. ^ NCD History
  44. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 4, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  45. ^ Regis High School
  46. ^ " | Maginnis & Walsh".
  47. ^ "St. Joseph's School at 15 Gould Street, Wakefield, Mass. - Digital Commonwealth". Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  48. ^ "Artstor". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  49. ^ Trinity's Remarkable Architectural Story
  50. ^ a b Report to DC Zoning Commission
  51. ^ Founders & Builders
  52. ^ Historic Campus Architecture Project
  53. ^ Historic Campus Architecture Project
  54. ^ Historic Campus Architecture Project
  55. ^ "University of Notre Dame: University Architect". Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  56. ^ The Notre Dame Alumnus
  57. ^ "1936: Thomas L. Hickey, Inc. Completed Notre Dame's Student Infirmary (St Liam Hall)".
  58. ^ a b "Tom and Kate Hickey Family History: 1937: Thomas L. Hickey, Inc. Completed Notre Dame's Wenniger-Kirsch Biology Hall". Archived from the original on March 15, 2016.
  59. ^ "6 May 1939: The Cornerstone Dedication of Notre-Dame's Breen-Phillips Hall".
  60. ^ "January 1941: Thomas L. Hickey, Inc. Completed the New Ave Maria Press Building".
  61. ^ "1941: Thomas L. Hickey, Inc. Built Notre Dame's Heat and Power Laboratory (Today's Hessert Laboratory)". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  62. ^ "1947: Thomas L. Hickey, Inc. Built Notre Dame's Farley Hall".
  63. ^ "Boston Sanatorium - Asylum Projects". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  64. ^ Dorchester Atheneum
  65. ^ "(1999 Preservation Revolving Fund Casebook : Property Entries Online)". Archived from the original on March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2016.