Rent the Observatory

The Observatory is a lovely, unique, park like setting ideal for smaller, intimate wedding ceremonies, receptions, business meetings, dinners, cocktail parties, adult birthdays and reunions. Your rental fees directly support the Observatory’s educational programming.

Indoor Ceremony for 40 Guests

Building and Grounds Capacities

  • Fewer than 50 for a sit-down dinner, or 70 for cocktails, is a comfortable number for your indoor event.
  • 100 or fewer for an outdoor event.  This is due to parking availability and limited number of restrooms.  
  • You are welcome to use our tables (12 @ six foot x 30") and chairs (60) for indoor events. Additional items can be rented (see Tent, Florist & Other Event Services tab on the left).

Hours & Music

  • The Observatory is located in a quiet historic district. To be respectful of our neighbors we do not recommend the Observatory for large parties or receptions. The Observatory is the perfect setting for more intimate events.
  • We do not allow amplified music outdoors or otherwise where it may disturb the neighbors.
  • All events (indoor or outdoor) end by 10 pm. Music must be played at a reasonable level and be off by 10 pm.
  • Caterer's tear down and clean up must be completed by 10 pm .

Food Preparation

NOTICE: As a National Historic Landmark the Observatory is a steward to significant artifact and library collections.

For that reason, and prevailing fire prevention rules, we have instituted a “no cooking” policy within either building. (No pan frying, broiling, grilling, paella or the like unless it can be done outdoors.)

Chafing dishes/trays, hot boxes and convection ovens (no more than 2) may be used upstairs in the main Observatory. There is caterer prep space downstairs for non-cooking use (i.e. salad, plate prep, storage, etc.).

To ensure a successful event, we recommend all caterers schedule a walk-through prior to booking an event.


  • The parking circle can accommodate parking for approximately 
    40 guests.
  • The grounds behind the main building can be used for parking if dry.
  • Valet parking may be required (at your cost) for groups over 75.
  • There is no parking along Observatory Place or Avery Lane.

Set-Up / Decorating & Clean Up

  • Observatory Staff or Volunteers will be available at a reasonable time prior to your event to open for set up.
  • Decorations are welcome but are limited to table decorations and freestanding displays. Prior arrangements must be made for hanging signs, flags, etc. Nails, tape and confetti are not allowed.
  • Tall taper candles are not allowed.
  • Clean up is the responsibility of the Renters and/or Caterers.
  • All personal items, decorations, etc must be removed at the end of 
    your event.

Click to Request More Information and to Check Date Availability.