Philadelphia Venues with History

May 28, 2021

Philadelphia boasts countless historic buildings and attractions that double as special event venues. Consider one of these landmark options for your next meeting, dinner or social outing.

The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia

Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

Location: 10 Avenue of the Arts

Just steps from City Hall, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia is situated in the former Girard Trust Bank and Girard Trust Building. Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, the bank building was designed by architect Frank Furness and completed in 1907. The hotel is easily identified by its pillars and masonry dome, which is hemispherical on the exterior and octagonal on the interior. The main rotunda building, which was once the lobby of the former bank, is now a multipurpose hotel lobby that includes the registration desk, Aqimero Restaurant and lobby lounge, and concierge and function space. Click here to plan your next event at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

The Bellevue Hotel

Setting up for an event in the Bellevue Hotel's ballroom. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Location: 200 South Broad Street

The Bellevue Hotel is known as the Grande Dame of Broad Street for good reason. French Renaissance architecture and a sophisticated interior make the hotel a favorite of meeting planners and attendees. Constructed in 1904 by distinguished hotelier George Boldt who ordered “the most magnificent ballroom in the world, no matter what it cost,” it quickly became the top luxury accommodation in the United States. The hotel offers 30,000 square feet of lavish event space, including a recently renovated, 11,616-square-foot ballroom with two tiers, parquet flooring and wrought-iron accents. Be sure to check out the ballroom’s ornate light fixtures, designed by Thomas Edison. Click here to plan your next event at The Bellevue Hotel.

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown's fitness center occupies the old bank vault of the Liberty Title and Trust Company. Photo courtesy of Aloft Philadelphia Downtown.

Location: 101 North Broad Street

One of Philadelphia’s boutique hotels, Aloft Philadelphia Downtown combines modern design with the city’s deep-rooted history. Taking over the 21-story 1925 Liberty Title building, this hotel is adjacent to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and perfectly blends old-time elegance (think impressive ceiling design, monumental windows, detailed crown molding and marble flooring) with modern facilities. BONUS: Don’t miss the hip outdoor Backyard terrace, also available for private events, with excellent city views. Click here to plan your next event at Aloft Philadelphia Downtown.

Academy of Music

Photo courtesy of the Academy of Music.

Location: 240 S. Broad Street

The majestic Academy of Music was built in 1857 and is the country’s oldest continually-used opera house. For more intimate affairs, the Academy’s ballroom is an opulent space that combines authentic 19th century touches like crystal chandeliers and ornate ceilings with modern amenities. Click here to plan your next event at the Academy of Music. For a virtual tour, click here.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts photo by R. Echelmeyr for PHLCVB.

Location: 128 N. Broad Street

The first art museum and art school in the country, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts can transform galleries and other areas into creative event spaces. The 1876 Historic Landmark Building, designed by Frank Furness and George Hewitt and home to the museum’s permanent collection, is a fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture inside and out, with a grand staircase, richly tiled floors, Gothic arches, vaulted ceilings and gold rosette-studded walls. Multiple event spaces can accommodate parties of 10 up to 1,000. Click here to plan your next event at PAFA. Constellation Culinary Group offers video overviews of the Historic Landmark Building and the neighboring Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building.

Carpenters’ Hall

carpenter's hall
Carpenters' Hall photo by J. Fusco for PHLCVB.

Location: 320 Chestnut Street

Follow in the footsteps of the First Continental Congress with an event at Carpenters’ Hall, built in 1774 by the Carpenters’ Company. Also the site of the First and Second Banks of the United States, the landmark locale can accommodate groups of up to 125 for receptions. In the heart of Old City, the red brick Georgian-style building offers a traditional Colonial feel, with brass chandeliers, ornate fireplaces, a blown-glass fan window and the original Windsor chairs from the first Continental Congress on display. Click here to plan your next event at Carpenters’ Hall.

NOTE: Carpenters’ Hall is closed for a preservation project.


For more resources to help you find a venue for your next gathering, click here.


Cover photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

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