In 1875, George B. Post and Peter B. Wight designed the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn with exquisite interior decorations of tiling and mosaics, patterned wallpapers, a frescoed dome, carved wood and stone, and bronze and gilt work. After years of decay and decline, the building — which has been designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places — has been magnificently restored and re-opened as event venue Weylin B. Seymour’s.
On September 20th, the League hosted the 2014 Beaux Arts Ball at Weylin B. Seymour’s. The theme of this year’s Ball, Craft, celebrated the importance of artisanship and the concert of allied disciplines in creating great works of architecture. The building’s interiors served as inspiration for nine architects and designers, who with Nuit Blanche New York projected digital interpretations of its motifs and details, celebrating the craft and art of architecture.
In anticipation of the event, and in keeping with the theme of Craft, we released excerpts from nine interviews with many of the artisans, specialists, architects, designers, and other key players in the restoration of this remarkable building along with a brief history of the building and its design.
Published: September 8-19, 2014.
Danilo Bonazza, Mosaic Artist, on the installation of the marble mosaic tile floor and his company’s development of new materials and techniques.
Ernest Porcelli, Stained Glass Artisan, on the process of restoring leaded glass and the techniques practiced in his workshop.
Federico Rozo, Graphic Designer, on the Weylin B. Seymour’s branding and the wallpaper concepts for the building.
Scott Holland, Wood Finisher and Restoration Artist, on the process of French polishing and the current state of his craft.
Stephen Bauer, Wallpaper Designer and Manufacturer, shares his enthusiasm for 19th century decorative arts and the work of architect/designer P.B. Wight.
Sandra Spannan, Decorative Painting Conservator and Gilder, discusses restoring the two domes, the techniques of her crafts, and the state of the profession of gilding.
David Scott Parker, Preservation Architect, on the process of rehabilitating a landmarked building and why this iconic structure was so important to rescue.
Michael Smart, Materials Conservation Consultant, discusses treatment proposals and preservation guidelines for Landmarks restorations and the work of his company, Urban Aesthetics.
Carlos Perez San Martin on the 3 ½-year restoration of a landmarked building and the team of architects and artisans that brought the space back to its former splendor.
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