Venue Insights: Union Station

Designed by world-famous architect and city planner Daniel Burnham, Washington D.C.’s Union Station is one of the city’s premier architectural and historical landmarks. First opened in 1908, Union Station was designed in the Beaux-Arts style, a popular architectural style in the United States during this time period, reminiscent of the French and Italian Baroque and Rococo styles, employing over-scaled details and intricate sculptural elements inside and out.

During extensive renovations that were completed in 1988, Union Station created multiple spaces to be used as special event sites – the Columbus Club, East Hall and Main Hall – which can be used for events of all types and sizes.

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Main Hall

The Main Hall is the largest space available at Union Station, and is, the main, grand entrance hall of the entire building. It features a soaring, 96’ barrel-vaulted ceiling, with intricate gold leaf details on its coffers and portals, and an elegant, marble floor. Centered in the space is a raised circular, wooden balcony, typically the Center Café, which adds a unique element to the hall and can serve as a special VIP space or even a stage for speakers or entertainment.

The Main Hall can accommodate up to 4,000 guests at a standing reception and 2,200 at a seated banquet-style event, and is available for evening events.

Section of the Main Hall

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East Hall

The East Hall, located just off the Main Hall is one of the most popular event spaces at Union Station. It was originally used as a dining room in the early 20th century, but is now an elegant, versatile space for events. In keeping with the architectural design of the building, this room features elaborate embellishments on the walls and the 30’ high ceiling, including hand-painted murals, decorative columns, and a glass-coffered ceiling with large hanging brass chandeliers. This space can accommodate up to 800 guests at a reception and 500 at a banquet-style dinner, and is available for evening events.

Union Station East Hall DC Events Venue Habitat for Humanity Dinner

Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC – Annual Celebration Dinner, Produced by TWG

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Columbus Club

The Columbus Club, also located just off the Main Hall, as well as the East Hall, can be used for a variety of events. The room offers a more intimate feel than the others, though can still hold 350 guests in a ceremony/theater style set-up, 250 guests at a reception and 160 at a seated banquet-style event. Before serving as an event space, this room was a “fancy soda foundation” for travelers. The room features high, frosted windows which let in natural light, brass chandeliers and hand painted classical artwork adorning the walls. Because of its private nature, this room is available for day and evening events.

Union Station DC columbus Club Events Venues

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Palm Court

The Palm Court is a section of the Main Hall, located just outside of the East Hall and the Columbus Club, that is typically used for cocktail hours before events. The space is “walled” off from the rest of the Main Hall with palm trees to create a private, separate space. The entire Palm court area can be used, or just a section of it outside of the Columbus Club entrance or East Hall entrance. The Palm Court spaces are only available in conjunction with the corresponding rooms (Columbus Club and East Hall).

Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC – Annual Celebration Dinner, Produced by TWG

As many Washington, D.C. locals know, Union Station has been undergoing a series of renovations over the past few years due to the earthquake of 2011 and other various projects and upkeep needs. These renovations are expected to be completed by this summer.