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Keely, Patrick Charles

KEELY, PATRICK CHARLES

19th-century American church architect (variously Kiely, Keily); b. Ireland, either Kilkenny, Aug. 9, 1816, or Thurles, Aug. 9, 1820; d. Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 11, 1896. Presumably trained under his architect-father, he migrated to the U.S. in 1841. Between 1847 and 1892 he designed 16 Catholic cathedrals and an estimated 500 to 700 other churches. The cathedrals of Rochester, N.Y., Chicago, Ill., Boston, Mass., Providence, R.I., and Erie, Pa., and St. Francis Xavier Church in New York City are among his best-known works. In general his structures are "preaching churches"broad for their length, with large, unobstructed interiors and often stark and naïve but monumental exteriors. Their style is neoor "Victorian" Gothic, a decadent adaptation of medieval architecture that became widespread in both Europe and America in the 19th century. In 1884 Keely received the second Laetare medal conferred by the University of Notre Dame, Ind.

Bibliography: h. f. and e. r. withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Los Angeles 1956). f. w. kervick, Architects in America of Catholic Tradition (Rutland, Vt. 1962). h.l. wilson, The Cathedrals of Patrick Charles Keely (Master's diss. unpub. Catholic University of America 1952), valuable critique. w.a. daly, Patrick Charles Keely: Architect and Builder (Master's diss. unpub. Catholic University of America 1934), uncritical but useful for chronology.

[p. goettelman]

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