Landmark Venues for Private Events

These historic sites double as extraordinary meeting spaces

There's something special about a building that has seen a lot of history take place within its walls, and the four sites profiled here certainly qualify. But these venues add beautiful design to the mix, creating an irresistible backdrop for meetings that strive to make some history of their own.  

Trading Floor by nightNew York Stock ExchangeNew York City
(212) 656-2034

Built in 1903 and designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1978, the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan houses the world's largest such facility in terms of dollar volume. After business hours, groups can rent out the iconic Trading Floor (pictured), a dramatic 15,000-square-foot space with a gilded ceiling and white marble walls, for receptions of up to 500 people. Other meeting spaces include the stately Main Dining Room, which seats 240, and the Lounge & Card Room, with wood-paneled walls and a vaulted ceiling, for 170.

New York Public LibraryNew York Public LibraryNew York City
(212) 930-0730

In Manhattan's Midtown, the glorious New York Public Library building dates from 1911 and is an official city landmark. The venue's 6,400-square-foot Celeste Bartos Forum (pictured) is adorned with an impressive glass-dome ceiling and can seat up to 450 people for a meeting or presentation. Other on-site spaces include Astor Hall, which provides a grandiose white marble entryway for parties of 750, and the Wachenheim Trustees Room, featuring 17th-century Flemish décor and a capacity of 125 for a reception or 110 for a seated dinner.

Union Station Washington DCUnion Station  Washington, D.C.
(202) 289-8300

A central transportation hub of the U.S. capital since opening in 1907, Union Station has been beautifully restored in recent years and now also serves as a special-events venue. The massive Main Hall (available for evenings only) with a 96-foot-high barrel-vaulted ceiling and arched portals, can hold up to 4,000 for a reception and 2,200 for a seated dinner. The East Hall (pictured) can host a reception for up to 800 people and a seated dinner for 500, while the Columbus Club (rentable in the daytime) can hold 400 for receptions or 220 for seated dinners.  

Spanish Governors PalaceThe Spanish Governor's PalaceSan Antonio
(210) 224-0601

With parts dating as far back as 1722, the Spanish Governor's Palace in San Antonio is one of the last standing pieces of the historic Presidio San Antonio de Bejar. Featuring beautiful Spanish Colonial period architecture and décor, the palace's Main Courtyard (pictured) can host up to 200 for a reception and 150 for a seated dinner. For smaller events, the Side Courtyard has reception space for 100. Guided tours of the venue can be given during an event.

Photograph: Matt Howry