Historic Stone and Marble Restoration & Repair Services

Breathe New Life Into Your Historic Stonework. 

In many historic buildings, homes, and other structures, it is not uncommon to find beautiful stonework and masonry—both as decorative and structural elements. Stone and marble statues, memorials, shrines, walls, flooring, columns, and other architectural features are found throughout the country and across countless architectural styles and periods.

Unfortunately, as with other structural and decorative elements like plaster and wood, stone and marble can become damaged by the passage of time. Natural stone surfaces can accumulate soot and grime, endure sheen loss, and obtain staining from structural supports embedded in the stone. On top of that, mortar and joints can fail, and elements can crack, chip, or become otherwise damaged.

With decades of experience in historic restoration, preservation, and conservation, John Canning & Co.’s artisans and tradesmen are highly skilled and capable in all aspects of stone restoration and repair. Our expertise ranges from relatively simple cleaning to more complex repair work achieved using a variety of methods—carving, casting, filling, and more.

Our stone restoration work is among the most supreme in the industry due to our team of educated tradesmen. Our reputation is built on our experience in resolving complex restoration issues through a variety of safe methods and techniques, making us a good fit for projects of all difficulty levels. We often pride ourselves on being the “preservation problem solvers” who have the resources to accomplish any requests.

If you would like to connect with one of our professional consultants please request a consultation below.

Our Process

While each project offers its own unique challenges and constraints, most stone restoration and repair projects follow a similar process and approach.

Before conducting any work, our goal is to first understand the history of the structure, including the role played by the various natural stone or marble elements. This is typically achieved with a mixture of investigation and archival research. At the same time, we must understand the full scope of the project being pursued—including budget, expectations, and aspirations of the owner and other key stakeholders—in order to appropriately plan and coordinate between other trades as necessary.

Once the project is fully understood, we must evaluate the current structure in order to identify the type of stone used, stabilize the structure as necessary, document areas of damage, test various cleaning solutions, and create an initial treatment proposal.
If treatment includes deep cleaning of the stone or marble, we will identify the least aggressive/mildest solution that can be used to achieve the desired results—without changing the original color or appearance of the stone, or otherwise damaging the structure.

This can be achieved through a number of processes. A simpler course of action might be the application of a cleaning solution by hand using natural sponges. Other processes may include a variety of poultice methods designed to draw impurities out of the stone. For example, applying a latex (or other) compound to the surface encapsulates the debris and then pulls it away from the surface once dried. This method can be particularly effective on extremely detailed pieces. All of our techniques, however, ensure that no further damage or changes are made to the structure—retaining its integrity and color.

Stone Cleaning

If treatment is to include repair to the stone or marble, the specific course of action heavily depends on the damage that must be corrected. Some potential repairs may include providing Dutchman at damaged, sugaring, or deteriorated areas; the removal and resetting of existing stones; repointing; or sourcing matching stone or marble. If sourcing the original stone or material is prohibitively expensive, it may be possible for our expert craftsmen to replicate the stone in another material such as scagliola or faux marbres.

Cost Factors

The costs associated with stone restoration and repair depends on a number of factors specific to each individual project. Some of the most important considerations include:

  • The type of stone and other materials being worked with
  • The size, complexity, and scope of the project
  • Accessibility (e.g., whether scaffolding will be required )
  • The possibility that underlying structures must be repaired, stabilized, or restored
  • For projects located in public spaces, whether the work will take place during business or off hours

For this reason, it is difficult for us to state what typical costs might be for the “average” project. The surest way to get an accurate picture of what the costs may entail is to contact us directly.

Our Specialties

In addition to stone restoration and repair, we specialize in a number of other complementary services, including:

Selected Projects

We carefully conserved and restored all aspects of the Luzerne County Courthouse's historic fabric: marble, metal, plaster, paint, and mural artwork.

John Canning St Marys Chapel Boston College Restoration

The St. Mary’s Chapel restoration involved conservation cleaning without damaging the surface or altering the color of the historic cast stone.

John Canning Gasson Hall Boston College Restoration

At Gasson Hall, Boston College, we provided the historic finishes investigation and analysis needed to restore the interior to its original design scheme.

Mural in St. Patrick's Parish

We were able to uncovered original colors, patterns, and finishes to conserve 24 murals while restoring Stations of the Cross and the scagliola columns.

Pilgrim Hall

The goal of the project was to preserve the finishes in Steinway Library and repair surfaces back to their historic appearance.

MIT Barker Library Dome

We served as a consultant for restoring the decorative paint, stone & marble, gilding, and metal refinishing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Canning understands materials and specifications, especially traditional materials and techniques, and understands and appreciates the benefits of a truly collaborative effort in design excellence. [WV Capitol Dome]

Elizabeth A. Moss
Leed AP, Architectural Conservator, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, New York City

The project included extensive repairs to the Library’s crowning architectural feature, a vaulted Guastavino tile ceiling. Canning & Co. provided exceptional craftsmanship, meticulous project management, and the highest level of respect and care for the Museum’s special environment. The results were spectacular. We applaud Canning & Co for a truly inspirational level of commitment to excellence in historic preservation.

Donna D. Curtin PhD
Executive Director, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Canning’s craft and artistry take aspects of a design to absolute levels of refinement that bring new works to unexpected levels of delight. Visitors are amazed that such craft is still alive and well in our expedient world.

John I. Meyer
AIA, Meyer & Meyer Architecture and Interiors, Boston, Massachusetts

I have had the pleasure of working with artisans in many countries overseas. Canning truly ranks among the best in the world!

Viven P. Woofter
IIDA, Cultural Heritage Officer, Overseas Buildings Operations, US Department of State

FREE RESOURCES

Resource Guides:

We offer resources to help guide you in your conservation, preservation and restoration projects.