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Canning's Connecticut Tour

15 Places across the state of Connecticut, that the John Canning & Co. has had the privilege to use their expertise at.

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Every year John Canning & Co. works on many great projects for both public and private structures across the country and here at home in CT. Our expertise and years of experience, combined with our deep respect for historic architecture and interior design, enables clients to entrust us with restoring state capitol buildings and landmark courthouses, churches, libraries, educational buildings, museums, theaters, and so on.  We have been privileged to work on some of the state’s most visible and important buildings.

The John Canning & Co. has worked on numerous projects across the nation including over a 100 within Connecticut.  As we received our latest award -the 2021 Preservation Connecticut Janet Jainschigg Award for Preservation Professionals that recognizes our overall excellence of work in CT, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some the award winning and favorite projects we have performed in CT.  

1) The Mark Twain House and Museum- Hartford, Connecticut

The work completed at the Mahogany Suite at The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford Connecticut has been recognized the most when it comes to awards. This project has received 6 awards to date.

John Canning & Co., restored the architectural woodwork and plaster as well as reinstated the wallcoverings in The Mahogany Suite. The Mahogany Suite project involved various levels of craftsmanship and required an understanding of traditional historic finishes in order to be able to return the space to the “royal chamber” it was famously known for. The woodwork throughout the suite had incurred serious water damage in multiple areas and the overall interior was unfortunately suffering from staining and failing finishes. The original mahogany woodwork was stripped and restored to its historic finish using traditional aniline dyes. The plaster had sustained serious water damage in several areas and was repaired and restored. The historic wallcoverings, were reinstated throughout the space. Within the Mahogany suite, five different wallpapers were used to restore the interior: the ceiling, frieze, wall field, wainscot, and baseboard border. Traditional wallpaper installation techniques needed to be used in order to make the wallpapers blend seamlessly. Read More

Mark Twain house & Museum

2) Cathedral of St. Patrick’s-Norwich, Connecticut

John Canning & Co. performed historic paint analysis which uncovered the original church decoration which Canning restored and combined with new commissions for 22 fine art murals and a series of simulated stained-glass windows. This project received multiple awards including the 2014 AGC of CT Industry Recognition Award, the 2013 CT Trust for Historic Preservation Merit Award, and the 2013 Bulfinch Award, ICAA New England Region. Read More

Cathedral of St. Patrick’s

3) Yale University- New Haven, Connecticut

Over the years, John Canning & Co. has worked on numerous projects at Yale University, below are just a few highlights.

The Sterling Memorial Library is placed at the heart of Yale University, and was designed by James Gamble Rogers as a cathedral of learning and is where John Canning & Co.  has worked on several projects over the years. John Canning & Co.  conducted archival research, hands-on investigation, and interpretation to inform the conservation cleaning and restoration of plaster, wood, and conservation of decorative finishes designed by James Gamble Rogers.

Canning also conserved and restored the historic finishes including the preservation of decorative and architectural paint and woodwork in the Manuscripts & Archives.

For the Digital Humanities Lab Sterling Memorial Library, John Canning & Co. performed historic wood finishes conservation, conservation cleaning and finished new replacement millwork to match the existing millwork. This project was recognized with the 2020 Project Team Award, Higher Education (Small) First Place.

John Canning & Co. provided plaster restoration and ornamental plaster fabrication in Morse Recital Hall, a performance space at Sprague Hall, Yale University School of Music.

One of the Yale projects included work at the Schwarzman Center. Our conservators and conservation technicians performed masonry conservation, ornamental plaster conservation, conservation of wood finishes, mosaic stabilization and assessment, and some conservation cleaning of various elements.

The John Canning & Co. process of archival research, hands-on investigation, scientific analysis, and interpretation led to the successful restoration of Battell Chapel’s original Victorian-era decorative painting scheme.  The Battell Chapel restoration was one of the earliest historic preservation projects in Connecticut and John Canning & Co.’s first comprehensive church restoration in the US.


Yale SML

4) Connecticut State Capitol-Hartford, Connecticut

The Connecticut State Capitol project was a total restoration of the Richard Mitchell Upjohn building with an interior designed and executed by William McPherson.  Areas restored include the House of Representatives, Senate Chambers, Hall of Flags, Judiciary room, Atriums, Dome, Statue of Genius, and Public Spaces.  This project received multiple awards including the Connecticut Preservation Action 1991 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Historic Preservation, the 1986 Design Award, Connecticut Society of Architects, CSA/AIA, and the 1995 Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation Award. Read More

CT Capitol

5) First Congregational Church of West Haven- West Haven, Connecticut

We were brought in as a preservation consultant for the First Congregational Church of West Haven. Canning also performed a conditions assessment of the plaster ceiling then performed plaster consolidation, stabilization and restoration.  The implementation of the consolidation of plaster was performed from the attic on the back side of the plaster using HPCS (Historic Plaster Conservation Services).  Using the HPCS suite of products as a tool for this project allowed us to address the problem at the root- where the plaster meets the substrate.  Along with the stabilization and consolidation, additional work of plaster repair was performed which included the replication and reattachment of plaster mouldings. This project received the 2020 Preservation Connecticut Award of Merit.

First Congregational Church of West Haven

6) Hollander Foundation Center-Hartford, Connecticut

For this adaptive re-use project where the building was transformed into mixed-income apartments and commercial space John Canning & Co. restored the lobby ceilings and simulated mosaic murals. This project received multiple awards including the 2009 Excellence in Construction Award, the 2010 Build Connecticut Award, Association of General Contractors and the 2010 Award of Merit, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Hollander Center

7) Waterbury City Hall- Waterbury, Connecticut

The restoration project involved a plaster conditions survey and extensive repairs to ornamental and flat plaster in the north building, including courtrooms and the former mayor’s offices, the most historically significant interiors in the City Hall. The decorative finishes and historic color scheme were reinstated and original artwork conserved. This project received the 2011 Merit Award, CT Trust for Historic Preservation. Read More

waterbury city hall

8) Basilica of St. John the Evangelist Church- Stamford, Connecticut

John Canning & Co. provided historic restoration and conservation of ornamental plaster and decorative painting, new murals, and complimentary design that reflects the Catholic liturgy, and honors Saint John. This project received the 2012 Stanford White Award, ICAA New York Region. Read More

Basilica of St. John the Evangelist Church

9) New Haven Courthouse- New Haven, Connecticut

The project at the New Haven Courthouse started out with a plaster survey of the historic plaster.  Different plaster and decorative treatment techniques were used throughout this project. Plaster stabilization, consolidation and repair were needed. Some of the other work included replication of molds and castings, patching and infill as well as framing and re-attachment. This project received the 2017 Excellence in Construction Award, Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut. Read More

New Haven Courthouse

10) The Church of St. Michael the Archangel- Pawcatuck, Connecticut

John Canning & Co.'s main work on this  new church that was designed to reflect the original gothic church, included documenting and reproducing the original gothic church designs on canvas in studio before installation. Work included the historic stencil over the dado and surrounding windows in the Nave & Transept Walls, redesigning of Frieze Border and Stripes, designing and installing medallions.  This project received the 2020 ABC Connecticut, Excellence in Construction Award Restoration and Renovation Project.

The Church of St. Michael the Archangel

11) Lockwood-Mathews Mansion - Norwalk, Connecticut

John Canning & Co.’s work involved restoration of several rooms, including the Renaissance Revival library and the dining room of this Second Empire style house. We conserved, repaired, restored architectural boiserie (featuring water gilding and inlays of rosewood, walnut, maple, satinwood, bronze, mother-of-pearl, and enamel painting) and wood finishes, ornamental plaster, decorative painting, oil and water gilding. This project received the 1993 Merit Award – Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.  Read More

Lockwood Matthews Mansion

12) Wadsworth Atheneum- Hartford, Connecticut

John Canning & Co.’s master tradesmen performed the plaster restoration, stabilization, repair, reattachment, and ornamental plaster mould and casting in the Grand Hall Gallery at Wadsworth Atheneum. Read More

Wadsworth Atheneum

13) Connecticut’s Old State House- Hartford, Connecticut

John Canning & Co. applied traditional gold leaf and gilding on the Charles Bulfinch dome and Lady Justice statue atop Connecticut’s Old State House. This project received the 2014 Excellence Awards First Place Historical Restoration/Preservation. Read More

Connecticut’s Old State House

14) Shubert Theater- New Haven, Connecticut

John Canning & Co. acted as consultant for historic paint analysis, and was responsible for plaster reattachment, consolidation, and repair resulting from water damage.  In addition to plaster restoration, John Canning & Co. also performed all decorative painting and application of metallic finishes on plaster and moldings throughout the auditorium.  Read More

Shubert theater

15) New London City Hall- New London, Connecticut

The project we were brought in on for the New London City Hall included the restoration of degrading plaster and fine art and decorative art conservation that was needed.  Work areas included the and 3rd Floor Hall Way plaster restoration and the City Council Chamber.  To inform the final color palette for the restoration of the Council Chamber and Ante Room of the New London City Hall, we provided a paint microscopy analysis to identify the original presentation of the substrate and provide color matches for possible reinstatement.

New London City Hall