St. Cecilia Church

Canning was retained as the trade contractor and conservator to preserve and restore the finishes for St. Cecilia Church.


Location: Boston, MA Built: 1880 Original Architect: Unknown Style: Romanesque, XII Century Norman


This grand Romanesque building sits in the center of the Back Bay section of Boston. St. Cecilia's Church underwent many upgrades during the 2010 renovation and restoration project, including ADA, fire protection and other mechanical requirements. During this project, John Canning & Co. was hired as the architectural materials conservator. Canning examined the historic paint and plaster. Provided a paint study and plaster survey, which was the basis of the restoration work. Canning was subsequently retained as the trade contractor and conservator to preserve and restore the finishes. Based on our findings in our preliminary studies, we were able to successfully reinstate and restore the original decoration. Two fine art murals were cleaned and conserved. A heavily damaged plaster wall and subsequent ornamental plaster was replaced with traditional lath and plaster. Gilding and decorative paint techniques were utilized to reinstate the historic colors, design and overall scheme intended by the original architect and designers. Although in the case of this interior the architect was unknown, JCC discovered the mode and method, style and design of the architect’s intent through our extensive investigative studies prior to commencement of any work.


2012 Boston Preservation Alliance Award