Born in Albany, New York, John Bogart enjoyed a prolific career as an engineer and landscape architect. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers College in 1853 and honorary Master of Arts in 1856. He worked as assistant engineer at Central Park and then Prospect Park alongside Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. and Calvert Vaux. In 1869 he joined the American Society of Civil Engineers, in which he was long active and, for a time, director. In 1870 Bogart became chief engineer at Prospect Park.
Bogart began a firm with William Le Baron Jenney and Louis Schermerhorn in Chicago, designing the West Park system and participating in the execution of plans for the Olmsted & Vaux suburb at Riverside, Illinois. He collaborated with John Culyer on Washington Park in Albany and the grounds of the Tennessee state capitol.
In 1872, Bogart was made chief engineer of the New York City Department of Public Parks, where he participated in the planning of the city’s first subway system. From 1886 to 1887 Bogart served as Deputy New York State Engineer and then as State Engineer and Surveyor of New York from 1888 to 1891. In 1890 he was consulting engineer on the first major hydroelectric power plant in the United States. In 1895 Bogart became landscape architect and engineer for the Essex County Park Commission alongside Nathan Barrett. In 1913 he began a partnership with engineer Charles Pohl, a working relationship that continued until his death. He is buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery.