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Robert P. Walsh collection of Maginnis & Walsh

Collection MS-1998-034: Robert P. Walsh collection of Maginnis & Walsh


  • Creation: 1906-1975, undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1941 - 1955

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials related to the architectural work of Charles D. Maginnis and Timothy F. Walsh and their firm, Maginnis & Walsh, compiled by Robert P. Walsh, a draftsman and architect for the firm who later married Maginnis's daughter, Alice, and worked on a biography of Maginnis. It includes Maginnis's business correspondence, as well as materials authored by him on a variety of topics. It also includes drafts of a biography of Maginnis, likely by Robert P. Walsh. The collection contains architectural notes and drawings of Maginnis & Walsh projects, including at Boston College, St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, and elsewhere. A scrapbook compiled by Robert Walsh containing photographs, clippings, designs, and letterheads pertaining to the Maginnis and Walsh firm is also included.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note: Robert P. Walsh

Robert P. Walsh (1893-1969) was a draftsman and architect for the Maginnis & Walsh architectural firm. He married Alice Mary Maginnis (1909-1992), daughter of Charles D. Maginnis, around 1965.


Boston City Directory, 1964. Accessed via, City Directories, 1822-1995.

Boston City Directory, 1965. Accessed via, City Directories, 1822-1995.

Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File. Accessed via, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.

Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Accessed via, 1910 United States Federal Census.

Biographical note: Charles Donagh Maginnis

Charles Donagh Maginnis was born in what was known at the time as Londonderry, Ulster, Ireland on January 7, 1867. He attended intermediate school in Londonderry and studied at Cusack’s Academy of Art in Dublin. In 1885, Maginnis immigrated to America with his widowed mother, brothers, and sisters, and eventually settled in Boston. In 1891, Maginnis began work as a designer in the office of Edmund M. Wheelwright, the City Architect of Boston. In 1898, Maginnis went into partnership with Timothy F. Walsh and Matthew Sullivan to form Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan. In 1906, Sullivan withdrew and the firm was renamed Maginnis & Walsh.

Maginnis served as the first president of the Liturgical Arts Society in 1932 and President of the American Institute of Architects from 1936 to 1937. He was also named as an honorary member of many other architectural societies, including the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Architectural Association of Chile, and the Royal Institute of Canadian Architects. Several universities, including Harvard, Boston College, Holy Cross, and Tufts, awarded Maginnis honorary degrees.

The serial Pen Drawing was authored and illustrated by Maginnis and was published in seven editions beginning in 1899. Maginnis also wrote articles and essays for other publications. His subjects ranged from Catholic architecture to an architect’s view on war memorials. Maginnis was wary of the “modern” philosophy of art and architecture; he called for a reasonable and fresh approach to ecclesiastical design. Maginnis married Amy Brooks in 1908 and raised four children: Alice, Charles, John, and Elizabeth. He died on February 15, 1955, in Brookline, Massachusetts.


New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 9, 1967.

“Charles Donagh Maginnis-1867-1955,” Journal of the American Institute of Architects, May 1955.

“A Tribute to Charles Donagh Maginnis 1867-1955,” Liturgical Arts Quarterly, August 1955.

Biographical note: Timothy F. Walsh

Timothy F. Walsh was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on November 8, 1868. He graduated from the Boston English High School in 1885. Walsh entered the office of Peabody & Stearns as an architectural student and, after promotion to the post of draftsman, remained in the employ of the firm for a decade. In 1894, he left for a year of advanced study in Paris ateliers, after which he spent a year abroad in travel before returning to the U.S. In 1898, Walsh went into partnership with Charles D. Maginnis and Matthew Sullivan to form Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan. In 1906, Sullivan withdrew and the firm was renamed Maginnis & Walsh.

Walsh was a member of the Boston Society of Architects and President of the Boston Board of Appeals.

In 1899, Walsh married Marian Adams Wright (1865-1960), and together they had four children: Kathleen, Margaret, James, and Edith. Walsh died on July 7, 1934, at the age of 66, in North Scituate, Massachusetts.


Holden, Wheaton A. "The Peabody Touch: Peabody and Stearns of Boston, 1870-1917." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 32, no. 2 (1973): 114-31. doi:10.2307/988826.

"Timothy Walsh." Accessed April 16, 2019.

Historical note: Maginnis & Walsh

In 1898, Charles D. Maginnis and Timothy F. Walsh went into partnership with Matthew Sullivan to form Maginnis, Walsh and Sullivan. In 1906, Sullivan withdrew and the firm was renamed Maginnis & Walsh. In 1909, Maginnis & Walsh won the competition to build the new campus of Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The collegiate Gothic design was deemed "the most beautiful campus in America" by The American Architect magazine and established the firm's reputation in collegiate and ecclesiastical architecture. Maginnis & Walsh went on to design buildings at over twenty-five colleges and universities around the country, including the main buildings at Emmanuel College, Boston; the chapel at Trinity College, Washington, DC; and the law school at the University of Notre Dame. Maginnis & Walsh later added an additional partner, Eugene Kennedy. In 1969, Kennedy selected his brother as chief partner and renamed the firm Kennedy and Kennedy Architects.


"Eugene F. Kennedy, prominent church architect, dead at 82." AP News. November 9, 1986. Accessed August 22, 2019.

"Maginnis & Walsh." Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada. Accessed April 16, 2019. http://


7.5 Linear Feet (13 containers)

Language of Materials



These papers contain materials related to the architectural work of Charles D. Maginnis and Timothy F. Walsh, partners in the twentieth-century Boston architectural firm of Maginnis & Walsh, collected by Robert P. Walsh, a draftsman and architect for the firm. They contain correspondence, publications, manuscripts, research notes, architectural sketches, drawings, photographs, ephemera, and a scrapbook.


Organized in two series: I. Maginnis & Walsh history; and II. Robert P. Walsh designs and correspondence. The first series is further organized in three subseries: A. Collected materials; B. Charles Maginnis and Maginnis & Walsh correspondence; and C. Notes and writings by Robert P. Walsh.


Gift of Kathleen Heffernan, daughter of Timothy F. Walsh (1984 and 1994), and Milda Richardson (1998). Richardson received her materials from Elizabeth Maginnis. The acquisition of the Boston College Recitation Building architectural drawings pre-dates the current accessioning system in 1986 and their provenance is unknown.

Related Materials

Boston College Building and Campus Images, BC.1987.012, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Charles Donagh Maginnis papers, 1900-1980. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art.

Charles W. Lyons, SJ, President's Office Records, BC.2000.178, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

James H. Dolan, SJ, President's Office Records, MS.1986.020C, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Louis J. Gallagher, SJ, President's Office Records, BC.2004.020, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Maginnis and Walsh architectural collection, circa 1898-1932, undated (AR038). Historic New England, Library & Archives.

Maginnis and Walsh Collection. Arts Department, Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Thomas Ignatius Gasson, SJ, President's Office records, BC.1986.020E, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

William J. Devlin, SJ, President's Office Records, BC.1986.020F, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.



  • Duplicate and out of scope materials
Robert P. Walsh collection of Maginnis & Walsh
1906-1975, bulk (1941-1955)
Jillaire McMillan, 2000; updated by Miriam Bourke, 2019; reprocessed by Elizabeth Peters, 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2022 November: Upon reviewing accession documentation and handwriting within the collection, determined many documents were by Robert P. Walsh, not Charles Maginnis. Reprocessed and redescribed accordingly.
  • 2024 April: Added Boston College Recitation Building architectural drawings.

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States