Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY: Preservation research, restoration, and conservation of original Jesuit chapel sacred design with modifications to adapt for secular events and student dining

The historic Farquharson Hall at the Culinary Institute of America originally served as the chapel for a Jesuit seminary, and now functions as a dining hall, function space, and teaching facility. For this restoration project, John Canning & Co. acted as both the prime and specialty finish contractor, coordinating all work and trades. This included general and decorative painting, new lighting & HVAC, fire alarm, and sound systems. The project restored the fine art quality of the original ecclesiastical decoration, yet also expresses the Culinary Institutes identity through new designs. These new designs incorporate a major donor’s family crest and portraits of the Institutes co-founders Katherine Angell and Frances Roth, along with trompe l’oeil mosaics featuring images of food preparation. The barrel-vaulted ceiling was conserved and new sky murals were added. All the exposed surfaces in the hall are plaster formed and decorated to imitate natural carved stone. Based on an original paint scheme simulating ashlar block, new paint and glaze colors were chosen to recreate the look of stone.

Location: Hyde Park, NY

Built: 1907

Original Architect: Scickel & Ditmars

Style: Beaux Art – Renaissance Revival

Planning & Design Services:

  • Historic Investigation and Analysis
  • Scientific & Interpretive Analysis
  • Paint Exposures
  • Color Matching
  • Pattern Documentation
  • Findings Report


Restoration & Decoration Techniques:

  • Trompe l’oeil
  • Stenciling
  • Glazing
  • Faux Marbling
  • Wood Graining