Venue of the Month: The Driehaus Museum

VENUE OF THE MONTH: The Driehaus Museum

LOCATION: 40 E. Erie St. – Chicago, IL 60611

MAXIMUM CAPACITY: Board Room Set Up for 20; Seated Dinners for up to 100

VENUE TYPE: Museum, Historical Building

Photo by Michael Monar

There are many venues to enjoy in the City of Chicago.  Part of what Chicago Planner Magazine is looking to do is help you find a venue that may not have jumped out at you right away (i.e. Google searches), but may actually be perfect for your event.  Ever think about having your event at a museum?  If so, the Driehaus Museum is one of the most impressive venues in the city. To learn more about it, Jessica Bergman, Facility Rental Coordinator, is giving us the details below!

When choosing to rent The Driehaus Museum for a private event, there are several options available depending on the needs of the event. For daytime rentals, for groups of 40 guests and under, we have two options available. The historic Billiards Room, privately located in the lower level of the Museum, is ideal for intimate dinners, executive boardroom meetings, luncheons, and presentations. The adjacent Servant’s Hall can also be used in conjunction with the Billiards Room to host cocktail receptions for up to 40 guests. There is a small kitchenette and Wi-Fi available in the Billiards Room, and additional A/V equipment available upon request. The second daytime location is located on the third floor of the Museum in one of the historic bedroom spaces. This room can seat up to 30 for a reception or up to 20 for an executive board room set-up. The Museum’s full kitchen is located adjacent to this room.

Billiards Room. Photo by Michael Monar
Billiards Room. Photo by Michael Monar

For evening rentals, guests are immersed in the entire Museum, as the facility is always rented exclusively so guests are able to enjoy all three floors of the beautifully restored Gilded Age mansion. Upon arrival, guests are typically welcomed into the Museum’s Main Hall, a grand entrance, where they will be assisted with checking their coats or any additional items they would like to set aside. The Museum staff welcomes everyone into the galleries and the catering staff can greet guests with sparkling or white wine while appetizers float throughout the first and second floor galleries. Guests are invited to tour and roam the lofty halls of the marble palace while becoming immersed in the details of the historical house as well as the beautiful decorative art collection, as interpreted by the Museum Guide staff located throughout the house. We can also provide a welcome and introduction to the house and/or divide guests into smaller groups to take a full tour of the collection which is a service included in the facility rental fee and always a bit hit!

As guests ascend to the second level, they will again be greeted by the Museum Guides who will welcome everyone to tour through the beautiful galleries of the Tiffany Exhibition.  The Guides will continue to assist guests with questions about the house and collection as they tour this newly opened exhibition (please visit our website; ).  As dinner commences, guests are invited to the third floor Ballroom and adjoining galleries by Museum staff and caterers. The Ballroom can seat up to 50 guests in the actual room, and if we were to remove the piano, seating can go up to 60. Utilizing the adjoining two former bedrooms on that floor, we can accommodate up to 100 guests in total.

Ballroom, Photo by Michael Monar
Ballroom, Photo by Michael Monar

We do have a list of exclusive caterers, and they can be found on our website; . Floral and décor vendors are preferred, but not exclusive.

I find that my clients are most impressed with how unique and immersive the Museum is. Not only are the permanent collection and our current exhibition an absolute treat to spend an evening enjoying, but the house itself is art and a beautiful example of Gilded Age architecture and design. Often times for events, from a planners perspective, the concern is always how to fill the time with an activity either throughout the night or during the cocktail hour. At The Driehaus Museum, guests are either treated to a fully guided tour or able to self-guide while interacting with our knowledgeable staff throughout the entire event. They will take you into the servant’s quarters, open up all of the secret doors that guests are so curious to see, including the vault! Customized tours and experiences are always an option and included in the facility rental. We are currently working on a few really terrific Gilded Age Dinner concepts to be announced in spring 2014, stay tuned for that!

For more information, or to book an event contact Jessica Bergman:

Phone: 312.482.8933 x22        Email:

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