At Atlas Obscura we spend our days searching out hidden wonders throughout the world. Sometimes we find amazing places right in front of us. For Project Re:Use, we teamed up with Cadillac to explore some incredible spaces that were rescued from disrepair and interview the people who gave these spaces new life.

Opened in 1875 the Williamsburg Savings Bank was considered “one of the most monumental spaces surviving in New York from the Post-Civil War era.” But after years of slow neglect, it was a mess. In 2011, Carlos Perez San Martin moved from Argentina to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to undertake the project of his life: restoring the bank to its original beauty. 

Overseeing a small army of artisans, Carlos has made it a mission to restore the building to its grand origins, save any details he could, and recreate the ones he could not. His aim is to restore and honor the craftsmanship that epitomizes this building. After three years of work, Carlos Perez San Martin and architect David Scott Parker have created a jewel of adaptive reuse. I ask Carlos and David what it took to turn the clock back on this magnificent space.

See the rest of the Project Re:Use videos here including a mine sweeper turned floating tavern, and a group of young designers using forgotten techniques. 

-Dylan, Co-Founder of Atlas Obscura

“This post is in partnership with Cadillac