Diocesan News

By Design? Architect Lands Dream Job After Aunt Reads Tablet Story

The team at Zaskorski & Associates, Architects at the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards. Jeffrey Graziano is on the left. (Photo: James Salzano/Facebook)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Since he was a child, Jeffrey Graziano has known he wanted to be an architect. When he attended the University of Notre Dame, he got his first taste of that career and found his passion: doing restoration work on churches.

Now, Graziano gets the opportunity to follow his dream every day. His aunt, Fabienne Danies, an avid reader of The Tablet, saw an article in the March 16 edition telling the story of a local award-winning local architectural firm that restores churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn (“Firm Gets Honors for Restoring Diocesan Churches”).

Mindful of her nephew’s career goal, Danies reached out to The Tablet for the contact information for the firm, Zaskorski & Associates, Architects, and within a few weeks, Graziano was hired and working on one of their job sites.

“I’ve always wanted to get involved in design and found architecture as a passion. Having the experience of more community-based work was definitely something that lit up a fire these past couple of years,” he said. 

Danies, the secretary of the Holy Rosary Society at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, is excited about this opportunity for her nephew — and excited she took the initiative on his behalf. 

“It’s a small world. Sometimes it’s not you who gets it — it’s somebody else,” Danies said.

Working on churches has proved to be more than just architectural work for Graziano. For example, he said, the stained glass windows he helps restore at churches are more than just glass; they’re historic and tell stories from the Bible.

“It’s more of a joy working here, because you’re involved in buildings and organizations that actually have beliefs, which is a really hard thing to find these days. Churches are really our last haven of public space, easily accessible, non-exclusive space,” he said. 

After getting a degree at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Graziano completed his master’s degree in architecture at Pratt University in 2022. He worked at Bricks and Mortals, an organization that helps faith-based groups manage their real estate in New York City, where he was exposed to work in the religious sector. From there, his interest in working inside churches only grew. 

Graziano, 27, a Park Slope resident, is not a parishioner at his aunt’s church, Our Lady of Mercy, instead opting to celebrate Mass at churches across the diocese. Doing so both enhances his faith life and helps his career, he says. 

Zaskorski & Associates has gotten more work requests since The Tablet and Currents News spread the word about their award-winning work on Most Precious Blood Church in Astoria and St. John the Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant, says Jason Galindo, an employee at the firm. 

The article that drew attention from Danies was about Galindo’s incorporation of faith into all aspects of life — by day, he is an architect, and by night, he is a youth minister.

When Galindo received an email from Graziano about his interest in the firm, he sent the message to his boss, Carlo Zaskorski.

“He graduated from Notre Dame, which is always very positive. They run a tight ship there, so we knew if he got in [accepted] and got out [graduated], that’s a lot,” Zaskorski said.

“It was serendipitous and certainly God where someone who wanted to do this kind of work found out about us in a coincidence which proved to be very important,” he added.

For the abovementioned restorations, Zaskorski & Associates was recognized by the New York Landmarks Conservancy with the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award. The firm is currently doing restoration work at other churches across the diocese, including St. Michael’s Church in Sunset Park and St. Michael’s Church in Flushing.