Event Spaces

A quiet moment in Towner Fellows' Lounge. Kevin Weinstein Photography
Sharing a quiet moment in Towner Fellows' Lounge. Kevin Weinstein Photography.
A ceremony in the Lobby. Kevin Weinstein Photography.
A ceremony in the Lobby. Kevin Weinstein Photography.
A first dance in Ruggles Hall. Kevin Weinstein Photography.
A first dance in Ruggles Hall. Kevin Weinstein Photography.

The Newberry Building

Designed by architect Henry Ives Cobb, the Newberry was completed in the autumn of 1893. (Learn more about the Newberry’s History.) The building has gone through several renovations, the last of which was completed in the late summer of 2001. To celebrate our centennial, the lobby was restored to its original look, the columns redecorated, and a grand chandelier and sconces installed. Our parking lot is available for your use as part of the rental fee for after-hours events. Please see Pricing for more information about rates and hours and Event Guidelines for rules regarding rentals and vendors.

Event Spaces

Our newly redecorated, spacious Ruggles Hall has large windows facing both Washington Square Park and Dearborn Parkway. A fully maintained Steinway grand piano graces a corner of the room. This space is ideal for lectures, concerts, slide presentations, cocktail parties, sit-down dinners, benefits, and wedding receptions. The hall is a very comfortable space for up to 200 people for a sit-down presentation and 275 people for a cocktail reception.

The Lobby has been restored to its original 1893 grandeur. An art-nouveau chandelier graces the 20-foot ceiling. The broad marble staircase, complemented by its ornate banister, is the focal point of the room. A Steinway Grand piano is available for your enjoyment. This space is perfect for cocktail receptions and small dinner parties. The lobby is suitable for up to 80 people for a sit-down event or dinner and 200 people for a cocktail reception.

The Towner Fellows’ Lounge, oak panelled and richly carpeted, is a room appropriate for both intimate gatherings and formal meetings. The Steinway Grand piano, the grandfather organ clock, and tall built-in bookshelves suggest the ambience of former times. This room is excellent for cocktail parties up to 75 people or an elegant sit-down luncheon or dinner for 50 or less.

Conference Rooms with various capacities are available throughout the day and evening for private meetings. Combine one to three of our rooms for breakout sessions for that special brainstorming retreat, retiring to the Towner Fellows’ Lounge for a relaxing luncheon, dinner, or coffee break. Short tours of the library are available upon request at no charge during your break times. The rooms are suitable for up to 30 people seated around a conference table.