Church Design through the Years

We have been a family business specializing in Church Design since 1927. We have been in continuous business for so long, we have even restored paintings we have done in the last 87 years. A real treat for us. We are truly dedicated to our vocation and love every moment of our work.

Lanzini and Sons began in this country in 1927 when it’s founder, Angelo Lanzini immigrated here from his native Venice, Italy.

He was a child prodigy and his talents were discovered at an early age creating frescos at age 7 that still exist today. He decorated his first church at age eleven while attending the Royal academy of arts in Italy. He graduated with a degree in architecture and an incredible ability to paint,design and create churches.

After arriving in New York in 1927 he immediately aligned himself with a decorating firm where he would hone his skills. He decorated churches and grand theaters until in 1936, Banker A.P. Gianini discovered his talents and brought him to San Francisco to design the Bank of Americas display at the Worlds Fair at Treasure Island.

After that work came easily and plentiful. He worked out of San Francisco, Detroit and New York until joining the Army Air Corps in 1942. He was involved in Topographical map making for the pilots.

After his military duty was fulfilled,he began designing again and designed dozens of churches, hospitals and theaters. He won much acclaim for his art and did many commissions during the forties and fifties. In the early sixties he was commissioned by the Vatican to paint the official portrait of Pope John XXIII which now resides in the Vatican museum after originally adorning the Pontiffs private residence. He also was fortunate to paint the portrait of Cardinal Spellman.

He was fortunate to have had the honor to paint portraits of Senator Robert and Ted Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey,Eugene McCarth, Pres. Bill Clinton etc.

During the sixties he designed a number of important Churches in California (St.Matthews Catholic Church in San Mateo, St.Francis Cabrini in San Jose, St. Simons in Los Altos)

During the seventies he was working harder than ever and recruited his sons after they were out of college and they added their own talents to the firm.

Art conservation became a huge part of the business and the firm re-decorated many churches through out the country, (St. Anne’s Cathedral and St. Mary’ Church in Detroit)

These works took as much as a year to complete. The firm was specializing in Stained glass design, fabrication and restoration statue restoration and mosaic design and fabrication through out the 90s. As well as statuary design and mosaic,and bronze works.

Mr. Lanzini passed on in 1998 and left a legacy and body of work that was enormous and the world has had so few people with his capabilities.

His sons continue the business today and devote their work to their fathers legacy and a grandson has now been brought into the business and has his own unique skill set that enhances this 86 year old company.

Hopefully the company will still be in business after another wonderful 86 years.