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Event Rental FAQ

 

What is your full capacity?
How much does it cost to rent the National Building Museum?
Is any portion of the rental fee tax deductible?
Does the Museum handle all of our catering, and rental equipment needs?
Do you have tables and chairs?
How late can the reception last?
Can I have a restaurant to cater my reception?
Can I have candles?
Can my guests throw rose petals or rice?
Can I bring in my own alcohol?
Is smoking permitted in the building? 

  

What is your full capacity?
The Great Hall is approximately 28,000 square feet and can accommodate as many as 1,600 guests for an event. Our average event guest count is 800, and anything under 300 can often times be overwhelmed by the size of the Great Hall.

How much does it cost to rent the National Building Museum?
The schedule of fees ranges from $17,000–$33,000 for the building rental and building support costs. The base fee allows for access to the Museum starting at 5 pm the day of the event. For special set-up times prior to the Museum's closing, the fee increasees incrementally for each hour. It is $23,000 to start loading in at Noon, and $26,500 for a full day starting at 6 am. 

Is any portion of the rental fee tax deductible?
No. The rental of the building is not considered a donation.

Does the Museum handle all of our catering, and rental equipment needs?
No, the rental of the space is just a right to use the space; everything else is handled by outside vendors. Following is a list of potential vendors you will need to hire:

  • Caterer
  • Lighting Company 
  • Audio/Visual 
  • Florist 
  • Décor Company
  • DJ/Band 
  • Valet 
  • Dance Floor Company 
  • Catering Tent

Do you have tables and chairs?
No, the building does not have any in-house equipment for events.

How late can the reception last?
Alcohol service must end by 12 am; guests must depart the building by 1 am.

Can I have a restaurant to cater my reception? 
Restaurants are not permitted to cater on their own. Some caterers will partner with restaurants to provide food, service and equipment for your event.

Can I have candles? 
We only allow votive candles in votive holders sitting on tables. We do not allow candles to be incorporated into floral arrangements, pillar candles, votive candles in votive candelabras, or floating candles.

Can my guests throw rose petals or rice?
We allow only white rose petals to be thrown in the building. The caterer must take responsibility for cleaning them up. We do not allow dark flower petals, confetti, glitter, or rice.

Can I bring in my own alcohol?
We do allow event hosts to provide their own alcohol through an approved supplier. Some caterers do not allow clients to provide their own alcohol, as they carry the license and liability for liquor.

Is smoking permitted in the building?
No, smoking is not permitted in the building.

Additional questions? Please contact the Museum's Special Events office at 202.272.2448 or email cframe@nbm.org