Out with the old, in with the new and back with the extravagant.
Once the landmark Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Weylin B. Seymour’s is now the city’s most dramatic event space – and it’s still a Brooklyn landmark.
“It’s not just a venue; it’s a new experience,” said General Manager Carlos Perez San Martin. “It’s a different way of seeing events and we’re taking the quality of events to a whole new level.”
The then-bank space, now-extravagant party venue at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge was acquired by an investment group led by Perez San Martin’s cousin, Brooklyn entrepreneur Juan A. Figueroa, in 2010.
In just three years, a team of architects, designers and builders – a team Perez San Martin called “artisans of all trades” — brought Weylin B. Seymour’s to life while also uncovering the building’s longstanding history.
“All the members of the team treated it like their own project,” said Perez San Martin. “We’re all really fond of the project and really, really concerned about details and treating the building like a lifetime project.”
This lifetime project is all about the details.
Built in 1875, the 138-year-old structure is home to tall windows, 100-foot ceilings and a 110-foot-high cast iron dome decorated with original murals by renowned 19th century designer and artisan Peter B. Wight.
“We are home to the last living piece of art by Wight” he said, stopping to point out each and every hand-crafted mosaic and every bit of gold-leaf painted trim. From cleaning the entire ceiling with cotton balls to restoring the 1911 “Bird Cage” style Otis elevator, original intercom system and 19th century French door frame vault, the transition has been meticulous, according to the team.
Arguably the most impressive detail rests in the doorways.
“Every doorknob is cast in bronze with the original logo of the bank,” pointed out Perez San Martin. The initials – WSB – also stand for Weylin B. Seymour, a 19th century Williamsburg socialite who was originally involved in the building’s development. When he died prior to the building’s completion, it was finished as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank. Thanks to Figueroa and Perez San Martin, the awe-inspiring structure has now come full circle. “We really brought him back to life through this restoration.”
According to Perez San Martin, restoration, recreation and replication are the key words.
“We’re trying to bring the building back to what it was,” he explained, showing off exact replicas of the site’s former four-frame glass panel, tiled floors and marble walls. “We want it to look the way it did in the past.”
Taking luxury one step further, Perez San Martin and his team incorporated architectural materials from around the world – including an 18th century drinking fountain — while also uncovering the wall’s many frescos, reproducing them via technology and creating replica wallpapers.
“We wanted them to have a human touch and a human feel,” he explained of the seemingly hand-painted trims. “So we allowed room for mistake.”
The venue, open for business this year, fits over 500 people and is already the go-to location for weddings, social gatherings, galas and fundraisers.
“We’ve even been looked at for extraordinary events such as a wine festival and a yoga festival and a month ago, Keanu Reeves was here filming his next movie” said Perez San Martin, excited to announce that the hall’s first wedding went off without a hitch but with a ton of class. Whether guests are looking to host a wedding, concert, fashion show, corporate gathering, birthday or holiday party, Weylin B. Seymour’s promises a historic canvas to paint on.
“It’s the perfect backdrop for any occasion,” continued Perez San Martin.
Already nominated for the NYC Landmark Award and having obtained the New York State award for historic preservation, Weylin B. Seymour’s is thrilled to call Williamsburg home.
“We believe that Williamsburg is the trendiest neighborhood around. It’s not up and coming, it’s already up,” said Perez San Martin. “We’re in the perfect area to accommodate guests from all five boroughs, and even Long Island.”
Catering culinary masterminds Scott Skey and Nick Hosea from Bite are responsible for flavors. Weylin B. Seymour’s promises a party like no other.
“Our goal is to be this unique space with these unique experiences,” said Perez San Martin. “It’s a mix of the senses where every sense is being treated.”