Frank J. Duane, 77, a well-known architect in the Washington area who also was active in civic and church affairs, died Monday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Duane was born in Philadelphia, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania school of architecture, worked for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and then entered a private practice in architecture in Philadelphia.

He moved to Washington in 1935 and went to work for the old Federal Public Housing Authority, where he became chief of the technical section. He remained a federal housing official until 1947, when he started his own architectural firm, now known as Duane & Duane.

Among the more than 400 projects that Mr. Duane designed before retiring in 1970 were St. Michael's Catholic Church and the Memorial Evangelical United Brethren Church in Silver Srping, St. Andrew's and St. George's Episcopal churches in Arlington, and the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda.

He also designed several schools for the Montgomery County public school system, including Gaithersburg, Wood, Montgomery Village, White Oak and herbert Hoover junior high schools and Olney, Luxmanor, Rosemary Hills and MacDonald elementary schools.

From 1950 to 1962, Mr. Duane also was an associate professor of architecture at Catholic University. He was a member of the D. C. Architectural Registration Board and a past-president of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He was a member of the Washington Building Congress.

In his civic work, he was a former chairman of the Montgomery County Library Board and the Montgomery County Safety Council. He served several terms as president of the Seven Oaks Citizens Association.

He was a member of the board of directors of the Catholic Youth Organization and a member of the John Carroll Society, the Knights of Columbus and the parish of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Silver Spring. He was a member of the Touchdown Club.

Survivors include his wife, Kathryn B., of the home in Silver Spring; a son, Franklin J., of Rockville; a daughter, Margaret D. Emmet, of Washington; a sister, Mrs. James McGarrigle, of Cherry Hill, N.J.; a brother, John V., of San Francisco, and 11 grandchildren.