Patrick Keely (Patrick Charles Keely)

Patrick Keely

The Church of Sts. Peter and Paul was considered an epoch in Catholic building in America. The much-praised work (demolished in 1957) established Patrick Keely as a competent architect and builder at a time when a number of new Roman Catholic churches were being planned “but a relative scarcity of competent architects of the Roman Catholic faith, and Keely’s reputation for honesty and integrity quickly made him a popular choice among the hierarchy and clergy throughout the eastern United States.” Thereafter, Patrick Keely effectively became the in-house architect for the Roman Catholic archdioceses and was approached from all sides with requests for designs of churches and other necessary structures for an expanding religious life. In Brooklyn alone there was a great wave of Catholic settlers for whom churches were urgently needed and Keely was the only one thought of to do the work. He continued as a carpenter / craftsman in conjunction with his designing duties, handcrafting such ecclesiastical features of the reredos of the nearly demolished Saint Brigid’s Church (1848) in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Keely later partnered with his wife’s brother-in-law, James Murphy in Brooklyn, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, under the name Keely & Murphy from the 1860s to 1867, until Murphy opened his own practice in Providence. Keely worked throughout the eastern United States and Canada, primarily in the industrial mill towns and cities of the state of New York and New England, principally a designer of Roman Catholic churches or institutional buildings. Among his work were several cathedrals in the Northeast and “many of the more substantial parish churches” later “elevated to cathedral status during the twentieth century.” He designed a few churches for Protestant congregations….”

More Images

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  • August, 09, 1816
  • Thurles, Ireland


  • August, 08, 1896
  • USA
  • Brooklyn, New York, New York


  • Holy Cross Cemetery
  • Brooklyn, New York, New York
  • USA

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