Originally built to house the Pension Bureau after the Civil War, the building now holds America’s leading cultural institution devoted to exploring the history and impact of the built environment.

The interior of the building is dominated not by offices and storage facilities, but by a grand central space, the Great Hall. Measuring 116 x 316 feet, the Great Hall features a central fountain and is divided into three courts by two screens of four colossal Corinthian columns—among the tallest classical columns in the world. From the design of the roof to the ingenious ventilation system that created a continuous flow of fresh air throughout the building, the National Building Museum is a marvel of engineering. An ingenious system of windows, vents, and open archways allows the Great Hall to function as a reservoir for light and air.

Since the 1885 Inaugural Ball of President Grover Cleveland, the National Building Museum’s historic home has been the stage for some of Washington’s most elegant and exciting events; and the tradition continues today. Host your seated dinner, reception, concert, meeting, or other event in a grand nineteenth century setting equipped with modern conveniences and flexibility. The Great Hall is available for evening rentals seven days a week. The three adjoining courts that make up the Great Hall may be used individually or together, enabling the Museum to accommodate seated dinners and receptions for groups of 200 to 2,000. The Great Hall can manage large-scale stagings, involving film, video, music, lighting, and laser shows.

The Pension Commissioner’s Suite consists of two historically preserved rooms and a catering staging area and can accommodate up to 110 guests for a seated dinner or up to 200 guests for a standing reception. The Museum’s Auditorium is suitable for programs, working lunches, and symposia, and can accommodate up to 150 guests in theater-style rows or up to 100 guests at round tables. The Auditorium is located on the Museum’s first floor and is equipped with state of the art audio-visual technology, podium, and stage. The Beverly Willis Library is an elegant meeting space for up to 20 and is equipped with a boardroom style table, a flat panel TV monitor, conference phone, internet connection, and DVD player. Overlooking the Museum’s majestic Great Hall, the Library is suitable for meetings and staff retreats. The Corinthian Lounge is a stylish room for holding business meetings, having lunch, or simply relaxing while visiting the Museum’s exhibitions. The Corinthian Lounge is perfect for smaller gatherings and is equipped with meeting space for six, two laptop work stations with Internet access, a refrigerator, and an outside telephone line.

All this at one of Washington’s most accessible locations – only minutes from the Convention Center and downtown hotels.

Complete our contact form and we will be happy to assist you in planning the perfect event.