A Rich Tradition of Leaving Our Mark Across Chicagoland & The Midwest

In 1918, 9-year-old Giovacchino (Keno) Vignocchi left Italy and came to the United States with a dream that only the New World could offer.

In 1926, at the age of 17, Keno left school and started to work so his younger brothers and sisters could continue their education. He started in the construction industry at the beginning of the Great Depression and in the years that followed became a laborer for the George Sollitt Construction Company of Chicago. Keno quickly proved himself to his superiors and became the general labor foreman on the famous Montgomery Ward Building, located at the river on Chicago’s Near North Side. Halfway through this project, Sollitt offered Keno the job of general superintendent, a position he held until the age of 30 when he cashed in his life’s savings to purchase his first truck and began the G. Vignocchi Construction Company.

During World War II, Keno Vignocchi enlisted and served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1945. After his discharge he began his prime contracting firm, Keno Construction.

Art Institute Chicago Excavation
Excavation at the Chicago River

From 1946 and throughout the 1950s and 60s, Keno Construction grew to over 350 workers who concentrated their efforts on government and municipal projects throughout Illinois and surrounding states. Projects from this era included the Power Plant Foundation at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport; concrete runways at Scott Air Force SAC Base, St. Louis, Missouri; and a series of bridges at various locations over the Illinois 294 Interstate tollway. In 1988 John Keno Vignocchi formed John Keno and Company and began to concentrate the company’s focus on civil work including mass excavation, structural excavation, utilities, parking lots and detention systems, erosion control work, shoreline and ravine stabilization and the management of other trades.

As a third-generation family business, John Keno and Company understands the importance of performing great work and building solid relationships. Our work on award-winning projects continues, as does our trusted relationship with owners, prime contractors, and subcontractors. These are the foundations of our success.

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