Location scouts: please see our location shoot page.
BHS is currently accepting event bookings for the Great Hall, the Othmer Library, and the Classroom. If you are interested in renting one of these spaces for your event, please click HERE to fill out an inquiry form. We will get back to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact our Private Events Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For BHS Members at the Circle of Friends level and above, learn more about private catered events in our building here.
About Our Space
Housed in an 1881 landmark building in Brooklyn Heights, the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) provides several ideal settings for weddings, ceremonies, cocktail receptions, and corporate and other special events. BHS also offers a unique backdrop for professional photo and film shoots. Elegant columns and soaring ceilings are the focus of BHS' striking first floor space, which provide the perfect setting for a wedding reception, sit-down luncheon, or a dinner and cocktail reception. BHS also offers its Othmer Library, a New York City interior landmark, as a spectacular venue to host an intimate ceremony, dinner, or cocktail party.
Tour our space on Google Maps:
(Please note that we have constantly rotating exhibitions in various spaces throughout our building, so some spaces may not appear exactly as they do on this Google tour (created in October 2015). Please contact our Private Events Manager with any questions at email@example.com)
Check out this video of a real wedding hosted at BHS, courtesy of
See how our space has been set up for special events on our Pinterest page, and on Woman Getting Married, The Simple Dollar, JP Fernandez Photography, Emily Angell Photography, Le Image, Jacob Arthur Studios, Timecut Photography, Amber Gress Photography, Smitten Chickens, Agatonstrom Photographer, and Hopskoch Photography.
Historic Interior Landmark wood-carved Library
Minton Tile lobby with wood-carved stair case
Expansive event space with decorative cast iron columns
Newly restored historic wooden ceiling and floor
Wood carved moldings around all windows and doors
Located in the beautiful and scenic, Brooklyn Heights
Close proximity to the Promenade
Ten 6 ft. rectangular tables
Wheel chair accessibility
Projector with screen
Podium with built in microphone
Sound system (with ipod hookup)
Fully air conditioned and heated
Brooklyn Historical Society is available all year-round for space rentals Monday through Sunday excluding New Years Day, July 4, Thanksgiving & Christmas. All events must begin after 5:00 pm and end by 12:00 am. This includes time for setup and cleanup.
Non-caterered events for corporate/group meetings are available during the day. To learn more about these rates and time blocks, please contact the Special Events Coordinator.
Brooklyn Historical Society can fit up to 100 for a seated dinner in the Othmer Library or 125 standing. Larger parties of up to 225 (standing) can be accommodated in our newly renovated first floor event space with 120 for a sit down event.
Deposits are 50% of the rental fee and are due at the time of signing a contract and will secure a date. The remaining balance is due no more than 30 days prior to your event.
All rental fees and non-catered event fees are available upon request by contacting the Special Events Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.orgPlease inquire for non-profit rates.
- Abigail Kirsch www.abigailkirsch.com
- Bartleby and Sage Catering bartlebyandsage.com
- Dish Food and Events www.dishfoodnyc.com
- Eventfull Catering www.eventfullnyc.com
- Naturally Delicious www.naturallydelicious.com
- Neuman’s Kitchen www.neumanskitchen.com
For directions to Brooklyn Historical Society, please click here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:What is the capacity of the rental space at Brooklyn Historical Society?
For use of the first floor level Great Hall, BHS can accommodate up to 225 for standing events, 200 for a cocktail party (or a seated public program-style/movie screening event), 120 for a sit-down dinner with room to dance.
For use of the Othmer Library, BHS can accommodate up to 125 for standing events, 100 for a cocktail party (or a seated public program-style/movie screening event), and 80 for a sit-down dinner with room to dance.
What is the rental fee for a catered event (wedding, holiday party, birthday party)?
All rental fees are available upon request. Please contact our Special Events Coordinator at email@example.com
BHS does not have a kitchen. We will have an educational classroom in our lower level that can be used as a work station with plenty of counter space for prepping food. It includes (1) sink, and (3) trashcans. Please have your caterer coordinate with our Special Events Coordinator to discuss the use of power. If you are renting ovens or machinery that uses more than average power, you must rent a generator. Load in for events on the first floor can occur at the Clinton Street entrance with direct elevator access to the lower level. Events held in the Othmer Library can also use the lower level classroom for prep, or the adjacent Reading Room. Your caterer and the Special Events Coordinator will decide.
Onsite Venue Manager
- Onsite before, during, and after the event
- Greets and directs vendors and deliveries to the proper area
- Makes sure all of Brooklyn Historical Society’s furniture is arranged according to agreement
- Assists DJ or band with our PA system
- Maintains temperature and lighting
- Other onsite duties as needed (no event coordinator)
Can I rent tables and chairs from you?
We are able to provide in-house furniture rentals, including 6 ft gray laminate and chrome rectangular tables.
For movie screenings or public program style events, we have 200 matching gray and chrome chairs.
Am I responsible for clean-up?
BHS will clean the space before and after your event: sweeping, mopping, detailing the bathroom, taking care of any necessary repairs.
You (or your caterer) are
- removing all food + drink from work area (ad-hoc kitchen space) after the event
- breaking down all boxes, bagging all trash and depositing in designated location
- breaking down all rentals and placing in designated location
in the venue for pick-up
- removing all outside / 3rd party materials from the premises the night of the event (gifts, guest book, signage, etc.)
- Arrangements for rental pick up must be made between the caterer and the Special Events Coordinator. Because we are a functioning museum, many times rentals must be picked up the night of the event due to the use of the space the next morning.
Is there any outdoor space available?
A small, temporary outdoor space can be setup under a tent in the sunken front portion of the building for an additional charge. The space can accommodate up to 40 guests. Please ask about our outdoor space packages, which include set-up and breakdown.
Where do my guests park?
Very limited street parking is available, as well as parking garages:
Manhattan Parking, 40 Clinton St., between Pierrepont and Cadman Plaza West;
300 Cadman Plaza West, between Clinton and Pierrepont; and
Ultra on Montague between Clinton and Court.
Should your guests need directions or a car service at the end of the evening the BHS staff will be able to assist them.
We strongly recommend using public transit.
Does the building have heat and A/C?
When can we get in to set up?
That depends on what type of event you’re having, but in most cases, you and your vendors can have access to the space at 5:00 pm.
Set up hours should be arranged with the BHS site coordinator.
For special events, bookings can be made between 5:00-12:00 a.m.
For meetings, bookings can take place from 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
How do I book a date?
A 50% deposit of the rental fee is due at the time of booking. Deposit payment is not refundable unless 90 days written notice of cancellation is given to BHS.
The remaining balance is due no later than 30 days before your event. We accept credit card, check or money order as forms of payment. The Client shall be responsible for any damage or loss to the premises of BHS, or others caused by the Client or any of the Client’s employees, agents, guests or other persons attending the function. Clients must have information for a current credit card on file at the time of signing the contract in the case of damage charges.
Should the time for the event including set-up or clean-up be extended after the contract has been signed, the Client will bear the additional costs of $500 per half hour of the extended time.
Is smoking allowed?
Smoking and use of illegal substances are prohibited at all times on the premises.
Are there any restrictions on vendors I can use?
We recommend that you use Broadway Party Rentals for all of your rental needs, including additional furniture, china and dishware, barware, linens, etc. We ask that you only use one of our approved caterers listed above. We are happy to recommend florist, event planners, DJs, and photographers, but you are welcome to choose your own.
Is there a dressing area for the bride and bridal party?
No. All clients and guests are asked to prepare for their event offsite.
Do I need to provide my own insurance?
Rental clients must provide BHS with a $2 million public liability insurance certificate that names The Brooklyn Historical Society as an “also insured” at least one week prior to the date of the event. For events where alcohol will be served without one of our preferred caterers, the rider must also include liquor liability in the amount of $2 million. The certificate must state the Museum’s name, address and date of the event.
Is the building wheelchair accessible?
How many bathrooms are there and where are they located in relation to our event?
We have a public restroom in our lower level, and two (2) bathrooms on the second floor next to the Library, each with its own full-length door and sink.
Do I need to hire an event planner or coordinator?
Only if you wish to. A BHS staff member will be onsite during your event to answer any questions, provide general assistance and oversee the building and our staff, but he/she will not coordinate your event. Your caterer may also be able to offer this service.
Can I decorate the space?
It is strictly prohibited for the Client to move, alter, or obscure BHS property in any way. Arrangements for delivery, setup, and removal are to be made through the BHS Facilities Department.
Decor must not endanger artwork or other objects in the collection, affect their appearance nor obscure their visibility.
No potted plants or soil are permitted in the Museum building.
Floral arrangements must be removed at the end of the event.
Votive candles and candles otherwise enclosed in glass only are permitted.
Tapered candles with open flames are not permitted.
No live animals are permitted.
Where is food permitted in the building?
Food and beverages are permitted in the Tile lobby, Library (2nd floor), lower level and first floor areas of the building. They are not permitted in any other area unless special permission has been granted by BHS.
**Due to the historical value and delicate nature of the materials stored and on display in our building, red wine and dark beverages are prohibited during cocktail events in the Library. This is a usual request when hosting an event in a museum. Your Caterer will work with you to select white wines or create specialty cocktails that will enhance your menu.
Can I have a cash bar?
Beverages at a catered event must be purchased through the approved caterer. To serve alcoholic beverages and charge admission and/or have a cash bar, you must obtain a one day Temporary Beer and Wine Permit from the NY State Liquor Authority, (contact Luz Miranda at 212-961-8284; general number for the NYSLA is 212-961-8385) The fee is approximately $30 depending on the type of organization, and it is recommended that you allow for two to three weeks of processing time.
Can my DJ and or band bring a fog machine?
Plans for music, dancing, and other forms of entertainment are subject to approval. Smoke/fog machines and any type of dry ice dispenser are not permitted in the building.
Can my guests have a guided tour of the building or neighborhood prior to the event?
Guided/Self-guided tours of the galleries and/or special exhibitions are available for an additional fee. Time and seasonal restrictions apply. Arrangements must be made through the BHS education department in advance.