Venue Insights: National Building Museum

The 5th street entrance of the National Building Museum.
Credit: Photo by F.T. Eyre

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The National Building Museum (NBM), one of Washington, DC’s larger event spaces, is centrally located in the Penn-Quarter/Chinatown area only four blocks from the National Mall. The museum is one of the country’s leading institutions dedicated to preserving the history of the “built environment” and educating visitors about its impact on the world.

Inside the museum is an immense courtyard, the Great Hall, with soaring 75-foot Corinthian style columns, a large center fountain and a 1,200-foot terra cotta frieze. The columns divide the courtyard into three spaces – the Center, East and West Courts – which can all be used as event space.

The Great Hall can accommodate seated dinners and receptions for groups of 200 to 2,000. The columns separating each court are ideal for dividing up the event space for multiple uses, such as a reception in one court, dinner in another and a dance floor in the third. As the NBM is open to the public during the day, events can only be held in the Great Hall in the evening.

The NBM also has smaller rooms which can be rented for events. The Pension Commissioner’s Suite consists of two historically preserved rooms and a catering staging area that can accommodate up to 110 guests for a seated dinner or up to 200 guests for a standing reception.

The Auditorium is a suitable space for less formal events and meetings. It features a built-in stage area and audio/visual equipment and can accommodate up to 150 guests.

Lastly, the Beverly Willis Library and the Corinthian Lounge are smaller spaces that can be used for board style meetings or intimate lunches or dinners. Both rooms are available for rental and use during the day.

The Webster Group has planned many events at the NBM, including the Annual Lab School of Washington’s Awards Gala, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s Night of Heroes Gala and the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle Summit’s Chairman’s Dinner, to name a few. TWG even worked with the NBM this year to manage registration at their annual Gala.

PenFed Foundation Night of Heroes Gala

American Red Cross Tiffany Circle Women’s Leadership Summit – Chairman’s Dinner

American Red Cross Tiffany Circle Women’s Leadership Summit – Chairman Dinner Dessert Reception

The NBM is located across the street from Judiciary Square Metro station (Red Line) and is only two blocks from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station (Green, Yellow and Red Lines). Some street parking is available, but numerous parking garages are available in the area.