What’s Old Is New Again
The highly-anticipated opening of downtown Raleigh’s newest wedding and event venue, the Merrimon-Wynne House, took place this month, and we are excited to share some beautiful images of the completed project from their Grand Opening Celebration.
The Merrimon-Wynne House has served many prominent functions throughout Raleigh’s history – it was built across the street from Peace College in 1876, as a private home of a prominent NC politician, and centerpiece of the park-like setting on North Wilmington Street. Its three stories were later used as a college dormitory, as the home for the president of Peace College, and as state-owned offices, before it was moved to its new location on the corner of Blount and Polk Streets. A little over a year ago, it was purchased by Jodi and John Strenkowski, who envisioned a new life for this special property. The stately house reminded them of the lovely venues that they found when planning their own wedding in Charleston, SC. They thought this would make a charming Southern, event space, and we couldn’t agree more! I was lucky to meet Jodi early on her journey with this house, and got to see it pre-construction. It was certainly a beauty to begin with, but Jodi’s vision has taken this property and the land on which it sits to new heights. It is truly a masterpiece and a dream venue!
The house is not only striking from the outside, but stunning on the inside as well. Its stark white walls and high ceilings are complemented by beautiful original wood floors, high windows, and detailed fireplaces in each room. The central feature of the home is a staircase which winds up all three floors, and you can peer from one end to the other. Ms. Strenkowski wisely built in a catering prep room that makes it much easier to have a private function onsite. Maybe the most special part of this property is that it now sits on a beautifully landscaped piece of property, with plenty of room for an outside ceremony or event full tented event. This is the only downtown venue that boasts such a feature.
“The Merrimon-Wynne House will be the new jewel of Blount Street,” said Lt. Governor Dan Forest, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on January 31st, in front of an intimate crowd. Jodi, her husband John, and Lt. Forest then did the honors and invited the guests in for a beautiful celebration!
The house was decorated to the nines. Many preferred SB&G vendors were part of this gorgeous event. Katie Dunn, and her team, La Fete, planned the opening party. The gorgeous floral designs were created by Fresh Affairs. Furniture and decor items throughout the house were from our local vintage rental company, Simply Put Vintage, and decorative chalkboard art was by Calligraphy by Carrie. An amazing spread of food was provided by Donovan’s Dish. The tent was provided by Party Reflections.
La Fete drew from lots of other local professionals to make this event spectacular. Live music inside the house was provided by the Side Car Social Club Band, while in the tent, DJ Joe Bunn rocked the house! Event Espresso, a mobile coffee cart, served drinks in the tent, and sweet favors were provided by the Cupcake Shoppe. Extra lighting for the tent and house was provided by Total Production Services. You couldn’t miss the beautifully-lit house that night!
This project, led by Jodi as part of the Blount Street Commons urban renewal project, is another a huge step for the continuing revitalization of Downtown Raleigh. Congratulations to the team! We cannot wait to see some lucky brides’ and grooms’ weddings that take place in this beautiful home!
All photos in this blog are by Tim Willoughby Photography.