Born in Brooklyn, William Boegel became one of the most prolific postwar architects of religious structures in the five boroughs by embracing the building boom initiated by the various Catholic dioceses in the mid-20th century. His projects are mentioned as early as 1922, when designs were unveiled for a major new hospital in downtown Jamaica, Mary Immaculate .
He quickly became a favorite of the Brooklyn Diocese, being included on a list of church approved architects in the 1920s, and commissions increased steadily through the 1940s, 50s, and 60s . By the end of his career he had designed nearly 100 churches, schools, convents, and related ecclesiastical structures in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. In 1962 he merged his successful practice with that of Edward Allodi, another architect of churches, whose base was in Connecticut. They worked together until Boegel’s death in 1967 .
Boegel’s designs tend to be more conservative than many of his peers, mixing restrained classical styles, including Lombardian, French Gothic, Spanish Gothic, and Renaissance Revival, with steel frame and concrete construction. He used high quality materials, with extensive use of brick and limestone more seen in earlier eras. Many of his designs could be mistaken for structures of an earlier era. Some of his later designs, especially schools, do start to exhibit more modernist tendencies with Miesian window grids and gleaming chrome finishes. Boegel received nine Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards from 1951 to 1966, including two for Boegel & Allodi.
Because of his prolific nature as a trusted architect of the Catholic dioceses, he had a large impact on the built fabric of Queens. His work is worth examining, however his influence on his peers was relatively minor as architects looked toward more overtly modern design principles, especially in the era of Vatican II.
Our Lady of the Cenacle Church and School, Richmond Hill NY, 1922-23
St. Sebastian School, Woodside NY, 1926
Holy Child Jesus Church, Richmond Hill NY, 1929
St. Robert Bellarmine School, Bayside NY, 1933
St. Clement Pope Rectory, Jamaica NY, 1936
Holy Child Jesus School, Richmond Hill NY, 1938
Our Lady of the Angelus Church and Rectory, Rego Park NY, 1939
St. Kevin School, Flushing NY, 1939
Queen of Peace Church, Kew Gardens NY, 1940
St. Kevin Convent, Flushing NY, 1940s
St. Getrude’s Shrine, Edgemere NY, 1945
St. Elizabeth School and Convent, NYC, 1948
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church Community Center, Ozone Park NY, 1954
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Convent, Bayside NY, 1954
St. Mary Gate of Heaven School and Youth Center, Ozone Park NY, 1954
St. Joseph’s Hospital Nuns’ Retirement Home, Yonkers NY, 1956
St. Kevin’s Church and Convent, Flushing NY, 1959
St. Jerome’s School and Convent, Brooklyn NY, 1962
St. Mary’s Church, Flushing NY, 1965
- “St. Mary’s Hospital Plans New Building.” The Brooklyn Standard Union. 23 November 1922. Fultonhistory.com. Web.
- Noda, Jessie. “Roman Catholic Architecture in Queens, NY.” Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation. 2011.
- “Edward F. Allodi.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 10 October 2017. Web. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_F._Allodi.