By Emily Drooby
Henry Gargiulo learned how to restore churches when he was just a kid, listening to his father.
Gargiulo explained, “I sort of grew up with it. It was right there, part of our dinner. Every conversation was about a different church he worked in or some other project he was working on, church related.”
Gargiulo is the owner of his family’s company, Artisan Restoration Co., INC. It was started back in 1937 and first named E. Gargiulo.
The firm has restored hundreds of churches and places of worship for all religions throughout the Tri-state. After Gargiulo makes an onsite visit, a rendering is created and then much of the restoration work is done right in their studio.
Everything from woodworking, to painting, to stained-glass windows.
More than half of the churches the company has worked on are in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Gargiulo, who is Catholic, recently finished a repainting and redecorating job at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Ridgewood.
Most of their work comes from word of mouth. In addition to restoring churches, the company has created pieces for three separate papal visits to the U.S. A chair made for Pope Benedict XVI when he came to New York City in 2008, sits in the company’s studio.
But why does the company focus on houses of worship?
Gargiulo said, “Oh it’s an inspiration! It makes you want to get up in the morning and go to work because look at all the satisfaction and joy, look at it like this way too. I figure I may get a pass from St. Peter when the time comes.”
Gargiulo, slowly building his way to heaven.