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John Canning & Co. 2022 Retrospective

With over 45 years in the historic restoration profession, John Canning & Co. continues to make a mark in the preservation world through the projects we work on and the award recognition we continue to receive.  As 2022 comes to a close we thought it would be a perfect time to take a look back at some of the highlights of the year.

Project Highlights

Year after year the John Canning & Co. has had the chance to work on great projects and 2022 is no exception.  Let’s take a look at some of our 2022 projects. These are a mix of projects, some wrapped up this year and some are on-going and will continue into the new year.

Our track record and reputation, continues to result in many repeat clients. Once a client experiences the Canning way, they have a full understanding of how expert specialty contractors work and what should be expected and that accepting anything less than the best just doesn’t cut it.  The Canning way has earned us the status of the ‘Go-To‘ specialty architectural arts contractor when it comes to restoration, conservation and preservation projects for many owners, architects, contractors and engineers across the United States.  Our clients know that having Canning on your team means you have a partner for every step of the process.

A few examples of repeat clients for 2022 include Washington Union Station, the Henry Ford Estate, the Fox Theatre, Old Saybrook Ghost Sign, and Mellon Auditorium.

Washington Union Station

Our 2019 project at the National Historic Landmarked Union Station in Washington, D.C., included the restoration of 36 interior Legionnaire statues and four exterior statues along the west hall wall. In October 2021, we were once again selected to do additional work which included completing the restoration of the Historic Granite Masonry and Finishes in the Main and West Halls at Union station that we recently completed this October.

DC Union Station

Washington D.C. Union Station after recent recent restorations.

Atlanta Fox Theatre

In 2019 we were brought in to do the plaster consolidation for the lobby ceiling for the National Landmarked Fox Theatre. We were then called upon in 2020 for the conservation of historic painted surfaces of the canopy in the auditorium.  Most recently this year we were brought in for a repair project for the main auditorium ceiling.

Atlanta's Fox Theatre

Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Auditorium

Henry Ford Estate

We started working at the National Historic Landmarked Henry Ford “Fair Lane” Estate back in 2020 and have continued to undertake new projects through the last couple years and look forward to continue our work there in the new year.  Canning was contracted by the Henry Ford Estate to perform multiple projects as part of their restoration efforts to return Fair Lane ( Home of Clara & Henry Ford) back to the look and feel of 1919, the time when the Fords had started to settle in to their new home. Most of the scope has included cleaning, conservation and restoration of the woodwork for areas of the Fair Lane Estate. Spaces we have worked on to date include the dining room, field room, changing room, master sleeping porch, master bedroom, and walnut room as well as corridors and miscellaneous items.

Henry Ford Estate

Henry Ford Estate

Old Saybrook Ghost Sign

We had the privilege to be a part of the Old Saybrook Ghost sign project which started in 2020.  Canning was retained by the Town of Old Saybrook to complete a visual assessment and documentation of the historic ghost sign that remains at the exterior of the Sheffield Building in Old Saybrook, CT. After the initial consultation and assessment service, the town choose to perform the conservation treatment of the ghost sign in 2 different phases, breaking the work into a left and right side of the mural for cost purposes and to provide time for fundraising. We completed the left side conservation in 2020 and were hired back to complete the right side this year. At the completion of the conservation work, the right-hand side of the mural matched and blended seamlessly with the left-hand side, so the two Ghost Sign appears monolithic. So now the whole sign has the natural historical look for all to appreciate.

Old Saybrook Ghost Sign

Old Saybrook Ghost Sign

Mellon Auditorium

Years ago, we had the opportunity to work on the finishes in the Mellon Auditorium which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This year we were excited to start another project at the Mellon Auditorium that includes Sphinxstone wall & column repair, cleaning & finishes restoration, as well as ceiling and entablature cleaning, repair & restoration. The goal is to restore the auditorium back to its stunning appearance. We can wait for everyone to see the completed results in 2023.

Mellon Auditorium

Mellon Auditorium work in progress.

Educational Project Highlights

Our educational work in 2022 also includes some repeat clients that consists of Boston College, Harvard University, and Yale University. It is always a pleasure to work at such exceptional campuses and be a part of the everlasting impression these academic buildings have on their communities. We look forward to continue making an impact in college and universities across the country.

Boston College

Through the years, John Canning & Co. has had the opportunity to work on multiple projects at Boston College, including two of the most notable buildings: St. Mary’s Chapel and Gasson Hall.  We were back at Gasson Hall this year to work on the Room 100 renewal project which included conserving and restoring decoration.

Boston College Gasson Hall

Boston College Gasson Hall

Harvard University

John Canning & Co. has work on multiple projects over the years at Harvard University for both interior and exterior work. Some of the buildings have included the Grays Hall, Gordon Hall, Bio Labs and Sackler Building. We were contracted this year to perform wood finish restoration work at Andover Hall which wrapped up this year and some additional conservation work at the Adams House which will continue into the new year.

Harvard University

Harvard University work in progress.

Yale University

John Canning & Co. has had the privilege to work on many different projects at a number of the campus buildings for Yale University over the decades, with our first project being the restoration of Battell Chapel in the 1980s. Our team has completed projects at all types of campus buildings, including the Morse Recital Hall, the Manuscripts & Archives Library, and the Schwarzman Center.  This year we were back at the University working on a few different projects including the metal restoration at the Beinecke Library, and wood restoration in the Exhibit Spaces at the Sterling Memorial Library.

Yale Sterling Memorial Library

Yale Sterling Memorial Library

State Capitol Highlights

This year we have made our mark working on multiple State Capitols including the Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia State Capitols. All of these we have previously performed work at and were glad to have a chance to bring our talents back to assist in their continued preservation and restoration efforts.  A few of these projects we are continuing to work on in 2023.

Michigan State Capitol

John Canning & Co. projects at Michigan Capitol 1989-92 and 2016 required expert woodgraining matching skills, and innovation in plaster reattachment and distemper paint conservation, and every other decorative painting skill. The earliest project included complete restoration of the House of Representatives, Senate Chambers, Adjacent Areas, and Public Spaces.  In 2015-16, our services were requested to address the sagging and detaching corridor ceilings on all three floors.  We returned this year to the state capitol and recently wrapped up some conservation services for multiple areas and surfaces in the first-floor corridor of the state capitol

Michigan State Capitol

Michigan State Capitol work in progress.

Minnesota State Capitol

We have previously performed work at the Minnesota State Capitol which included the 2008 restoration of a state capitol third floor corridors designed by acclaimed architect Cass Gilbert and involved investigation studies of fine art and decorative paint finishes, including murals by noted artist Elmer Garnsey. We started to do some additional work in 2021 after being awarded the project for the survey and restoration services for decorative paint and plaster in the capitol building. From that initial survey services project, we were contracted to do additional work, performing the conservation and restoration of finishes in various spaces of the state capitol.

Minnesota State Capitol

Minnesota State Capitol

Pennsylvania State Capitol

The Canning company has worked on a variety of projects at the Pennsylvania State Capitol since 1999. We have restored multiple locations at the Capitol including the restoration of the plaster, decorative painting, and historic woodwork repair and refinishing in the House Chamber Ante Rooms, including the Members Lounge, Vestibule Post Office, Governors Ante Room, House Chamber Portico Doors, and the Ladies Waiting Room. This year we were awarded the contract for the restoration and refinishing of the Senate Chamber desks which will continue into the new year.

Pennsylvania State Capitol

Pennsylvania State Capitol desk restoration in progress.

Virginia State Capitol

For the Virginia State Capitol, in 2007 John Canning & Co. restored the historic decorative painting and gilding in the Chamber of the House of Delegates, Senate Chamber and the Rotunda.  This year we returned to the capitol to do some additional work in the House and Senate Chambers that included repairing falling paint and plaster and some touchups.

Virginia State Capitol

Virginia State Capitol

Liturgical Highlights

Our Canning Liturgical Arts division has been busy working in churches and chapels across the United States including FL, CT, CO, PA, MD, MN, TX, MA, RI, SD, and VA. Many of these projects included new design work involving the creation of decorative schemes, art work and color palettes to transform and beautify the spaces.

Work in progress at a few of the Canning Liturgical Arts projects.

The projects we take on are not just a number, we only take on projects we believe in and are passionate about. This in turn leads to a successful decorative finishes project with the highest quality of work possible.

Company Growth

The company continues to grow and change in order to continue to deliver the highest standards in services that we are known for in order to handle the projects we want to undertake.  Some of the new additions to the Canning team this year include: Andrew Richard, as the new Director of Projects; Patrick Murphy, joining the Estimating team; Marissa Fiddler, as Preservation Coordinator; Margaret Murphy, as Special Projects Coordinator;  Joshua Kaminski and Sophia Iacoviello, joining the Conservation team.


Through the years, John Canning & Co.’s impeccable work has been recognized for restoration excellence with numerous industry awards. This year we were happy to have been a part of more award-winning projects, in total getting honored with 7 awards in 2022.

San Joselito’s Chapel, Norwalk, CT

2022 McKim, Mead, & White Award for Craftsmanship, ICAA

San Joselito's Chapel

San Joselito’s Chapel

Yale University’s Schwarzman Center, New Haven, CT

2022 McKim, Mead, & White Award for Historic Preservation, ICAA-Robert A.M. Stern Architect’s Yale

2022 Bulfinch Award for Historic Preservation, ICAA New England Region – Robert A.M. Stern Architect’s

Yale University's Schwarzman Center

Yale University’s Schwarzman Center

Luzerne County Courthouse, Wilkes-Barre, PA

2022 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award – Leadership Award for Local Government

Luzerne County Courthouse

Luzerne County Courthouse

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College, Northfield, MA

2022 Bulfinch Award for Ecclesiastic, ICAA New England Region -Harrison Design

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Campus Project, Hartford, CT

2022 Preservation Connecticut Award of Merit

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Campus Project

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Campus Project

Trinity Church Wall Street, New York, NY

2022 The New York Landmarks Conservancy, Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award

Trinity Church Wall Street

Trinity Church Wall Street work in progress.

As we look back, we have to take a moment to extend our thanks to all those that are a part of the Canning family that make it possible to successfully complete projects and make the company what it is today. We also have to thank those who have supported the company including the owners, architects, contractors and engineers that helped along the way. It’s a team effort to make a project come together and have a successful outcome and are appreciative to be surrounded by great team members for the projects we undertake.  We look forward to the year ahead and all that it may bring.

Canning C

December 19, 2022

Featured Projects

DC Union Station

Washington DC’s Union Station

This project included the conservation and restoration of 40 Legionnaire statues in Washington DC’s Union Station by John Canning & Co.

Fox Theatre Restoration

Fox Theatre

Work at the Fox Theatre included: plaster consolidation in the Lobby and conservation cleaning and restoration of the Auditorium canopy.

Mellon Auditorium After Restoration Felix Ian Paden Photographer

Mellon Auditorium

John Canning & Co. performed restoration of the Auditorium’s finishes for the walls, columns, entablatures and the ceiling.

Henry Ford Estate Feature

Henry Ford – Fair Lane Estate

Our work at Henry Ford Estate included cleanings and restoring the woodwork for multiple project areas of the Fair Lane Estate.

Sterling Memorial Library Yale University Mural

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University

Our team conducted archival research, hands-on investigation, and interpretation to inform the restoration of plaster, wood, and decorative finishes.

Virginia State Capitol Restoration

Our artisans were entrusted with the restoration and conservation of historic decorative painting and gilding originally designed by Thomas Jefferson.


San Joselito Chapel

A beautification program of new design and decorative finishes, transformed the once plain interior of the San Joselito’s Chapel.

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