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John Canning & Co. Honored to Receive Recognition from the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture

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Through the years, John Canning & Co.’s impeccable work has been recognized for restoration excellence with numerous Institute of Classical Architecture & Art awards, including the Arthur Ross Award, multiple Bulfinch Awards, the Trumbauer Award, the Stanford White Award, and most recently, the McKim, Mead & White Award.

The Canning company’s first award was the Arthur Ross Award which was given to the company’s founder, John Canning, in 2004 as a recognition of his excellence in artisanship in the classic tradition. This distinguished award is an immense honor to receive.

Since that first award, with the addition of our latest awards, the Canning Company is proud to have been recognized with a total of eleven awards from the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture, seven of which are Bulfinch Awards. In the spirit of these awards, let’s take a look back at some of Canning’s past projects that were recognized with ICAA awards: 

ICAA National Office

McKim, Mead and White/ Stanford White Award

Our most recent award, the inaugural McKim, Mead & White award, comes as an especially extraordinary honor this year, as it is John Canning & Co.’s second inaugural award from the ICAA, with the first coming during the inaugural 2012 ICAA Stanford White Award year. Our company’s founder, John Canning, would like to thank everyone who has worked on these projects, stating, “As a winner of an inaugural Stanford White award in 2012, and with this 2022 McKim, Mead & White award, I am proud that the company, now under the leadership of David Riccio and Dorothea Hennessey, has maintained the high quality of design and high standard of craftsmanship that the company was founded on.”

The McKim, Mead & White Awards, formerly known as the Stanford White Awards, are esteemed awards given for excellence in Classical and New Traditional Design for projects in architecture, landscapes, urbanism, interiors, and building craftsmanship & artisanship throughout New York, New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. John Canning & Co. was awarded the 2022 McKim, Mead & White Award for Artisanship for their project, San Joselito’s Chapel – Transformation Through Design. The roughly 18ft x 35ft chapel was completely redesigned, including the installation of decorative paint, stenciling, glazing, and gilding. The complete beautification of the once plain, white-washed chapel brought the surrounding community together to create a stunning place of worship to be enjoyed by parishioners and visitors alike.

San Joselito's Chapel
San Joselito's Chapel

2012 Stanford White Award - Basilica of St. John the Evangelist Church, Stamford, CT

St. John the Evangelist
St. John the Evangelist Church

The parish community engaged John Canning & Co. to restore the interior of the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist to its original design. We restored the original design where it could be defined and created new decoration and fine-art murals consistent with the original design intent in areas where our historical research and paint study were inconclusive. The result is a harmonious design scheme applied to a sound plaster substrate that blends Catholic symbolism and iconography, liturgical references, and images in celebration of St. John the Evangelist. Our creative design and historical accuracy were awarded the inaugural Stanford White Award for Craftsmanship/Artisanship in 2012. 

ICAA New England Chapter

2022 Bulfinch Awards

John Canning & Co. have been privileged to have been a part of two of the incredible teams receiving 2022 Bulfinch Awards from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA) New England Chapter, and to have also received a 2022 McKim, Mead & White Award from the New York Chapter of the ICAA this year. The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is a nonprofit organization that works through advocacy, education, and publication to further the classical tradition in urbanism, architecture, and the allied arts. John Canning & Co. are grateful to have three of their projects recognized by the ICAA this year and look forward to celebrating these accomplishments with their colleagues.

The New England chapter’s Bulfinch Awards are bestowed upon architects, designers, and industry professionals of superior merit for notable projects each year. Being awarded is a prestigious honor, and we are so proud to have been a part of the teams of two of the projects from the educational sector that received awards this year; Robert A.M. Stern Architect's project at Yale University’s Schwarzman Center for the Historic Preservation Award, and Harrison Design’s project at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College for the Ecclesiastic Award. Canning provided architectural conservation treatment services for the ornamental plaster, masonry, metal, and wood at the Schwarzman Center and provided the new decorative scheme and installation of the color palette and decoration at Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The project at Yale University’s Schwarzman Center also received a 2022 McKim, Mead & White award from the New York Chapter of the ICAA.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel (Left) and Yale's Schwarzman Center (Right)

2021 Bulfinch Award for Craftsmanship/Artisanship - Saint Mary's Church

Saint Mary's Church
Saint Mary's Church

Canning received the 2021 Bulfinch Award in the Craftsmanship/Artisan Category for the Decorative Finishes and Artwork completed at Saint Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT. The Church of Saint Mary was the first Catholic Church in New Haven and is the second oldest Roman Catholic parish in Connecticut.  The importance and recognition regionally, nationally, and internationally of Saint Mary’s cannot be overlooked as it is the founding church of the Knights of Columbus and now the home of the blessed Michael J. McGivney who is entombed there. This 1874 James Murphy (partner of Patrick Keely) church’s impressive gothic construction and soaring vaulted ceiling inspire the awe and majesty of that which the structure was intended.

2020 Bulfinch Award for Craftsmanship/Artisanship - Mark Twain House & Museum

Mark Twain House Mahogany Suite
Mark Twain House Mahogany Suite

John Canning & Co. restored the architectural woodwork and plaster, and reinstated wallcoverings in the Mahogany Suite at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut. This restoration work earned John Canning & Co. the 2020 Bulfinch Award for Artisanship. The mahogany woodwork was stripped and refinished to the original woodwork to its historical intent. The plaster had sustained serious water damage in several areas and was repaired and restored. The historic wallcoverings design, which included spider web and bee features and dates back to the 1850s, was installed throughout the space.

2017 Bulfinch Award for Historic Preservation - Saint Patrick's Church, Lowell, MA

St. Patrick's Parish
St. Patrick's Church

Over one year, the John Canning & Co. team of conservators, analysts, artists, decorators, designers, and tradespeople uncovered original colors, decorative patterns, and finishes, conserved 24 murals, restored Stations of the Cross, repaired and stabilized plaster, and conserved the scagliola columns. This preservation project at St. Patrick’s Church gained regional recognition, earning the 2017 Bulfinch Award for Historic Preservation.

2013 Bulfinch Award for Craftsmanship/Artisanship - Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich, CT

St. Patrick's Cathedral
Cathedral of St. Patrick

The restoration and beautification of the Cathedral of St. Patrick posed an interesting challenge with the creation of a triptych for the back wall of the sanctuary that would simulate stained glass windows. Using a variety of gilding materials, transparent glazes, and metallic paint, our final product illuminates the sanctuary and adds both visual interest for the congregation and a majestic backdrop to the baldacchino. The innovative design solution and overall preservation work completed at the cathedral earned John Canning & Co. the 2013 Bulfinch Award for Craftsmanship/Artisanship.

2011 Bulfinch Award - Grand Prize Civic - DeCarlo & Doll, Inc. Restoration of Waterbury City Hall, Waterbury, CT

Waterbury City Hall
Waterbury City Hall

John Canning & Co.’s restoration work at Waterbury City Hall 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 the original artwork was conserved. This extensive restoration work was recognized with the 2011 Grand Prize Bulfinch Award for Civic projects, recognizing the collaborative work completed by DeCarlo & Doll, Inc. and John Canning & Co.

Philadelphia and Ohio & Lake Erie Chapters of the ICAA

2018 Trumbauer Award - Luzerne County Courthouse, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Luzerne County Courthouse
Luzerne County Courthouse

Over the years, water damage, mold, mildew, and unsuccessful repair attempts had assaulted the historic fabric of the Luzerne County Courthouse, making its preservation urgent. People with business in the building were being protected from falling pieces of delaminating plaster by netting draped across the rotunda. John Canning & Co. conservators carefully assessed, documented, and conserved over 125 murals and artwork throughout the rotunda and third-floor corridors. Research of historical documents and photos along with paint exposures helped the team determine where the original artist’s decorative schemes and mural compositions had been altered over the years. After the research phase, the artist’s original work was faithfully reinstated. This stunning restoration earned the 2018 Trumbauer Award for Fine Art – given by the Philadelphia and Ohio & Lake Erie Chapters of the ICAA.

These incredible awards and honors are a testament to John Canning & Co.’s hard work and continued stewardship of historic buildings and their restoration. The company takes pride in the work they do and is grateful that preservation organizations across the nation are recognizing this passion. The company continues to strive for excellence in the preservation field and is looking forward to perfecting preservation for more conservation and restoration projects.

Located in Cheshire, CT., John Canning & Co. is one of the nation’s experts in historic restoration, conservation, and preservation. With a team of craftspeople and conservators, John Canning & Co. offers services in a variety of areas, including conservation, planning, designing, historic paint analysis, plaster condition surveys, restoration, decorative finishes and painting, budgeting, and consulting.  With over 45 years of experience, John Canning & Co. has received numerous awards and has been entrusted to restore state capitols, courthouses, churches, libraries, museums, theatres, educational establishments, and other historic buildings.

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