Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist

Canning provided historic restoration and conservation of ornamental plaster and decorative painting, new murals, and complementary design that reflects the Catholic liturgy, and honors Saint John.



Location: Stamford, CT Built: 1886 Original Architect: James Murphy Style: Gothic Revival


The church was designed in the 1870’s by premier ecclesiastical architect James Murphy, the Basilica was not complete until years later when funding became available and a local stage set designer completed the permanent ceiling and roof. The appearance of the interior was compromised with integrity and tentative design, having been modified a number of ways over its history. Modifications included removal of gallery seating in the transepts and several decorative paint campaigns confined to the apse and side chapels. It was important to the client that the new design be confident and strong, as well as authentic in the historical tradition of church decorating. The new interior was to be reflective of the liturgy, Catholic tradition and symbols, as well as celebrate their patron, St. John. The design creativity essential to artisanship and the high caliber execution critical to craftsmanship were both key to the success of this project. The result here is not an example of purity of design, but one of quality that transforms several inherited challenges into a unified whole that is capable of glorifying the beauty of the worship that takes place within.


2012 Stanford White Award, Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, New York Region