John Canning & Co. was engaged by Hartman Cox Architects to assist with the design of a new mural proposed for a shallow dome in the new visitor orientation plaza, located a level beneath the Constitution exhibit hall. The architects’ concept was a mural that represents the Constitution exhibit space, with a dramatic coffered half-dome ceiling above the Constitution display case. Executing the mural directly on the curved dome would cause visual distortion. We proposed inserting a new curved wall, providing enough vertical space for a trompe l’oeil depiction of the upper portions of the Constitution display entablature; the coffered ceiling would be depicted on the dome. John Canning & Co. was also the consultant for historic finish exposures and paint analysis, and was responsible for the restoration of the decorative paint, stone & marble restoration, incised-letter gilding, and metal refinishing. Work included the full restoration of the Beaux Arts building’s Grand Lobby, Loggias, and the Great Rotunda. Throughout the project, John Canning & Co. worked with several departments, including the President’s office.
Location: Washington, DC
Original Architect: John Russell Pope
Style: Classical Revival
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Planning & Design Services:
Restoration & Decoration Techniques: