Inside: Bates Hall at the Boston Public Library

Nestled in the heart of Copley Square, the Boston Public Library is one of our favorite venues in the city. Bursting with history, stunning architecture, and breathtaking rooms, the library has long been a favorite venue for corporate and private events. From fairy tale-esque weddings in the courtyard, to cocktails in the Guastavino Room, its versatility and many memorable rooms make the Boston Public Library the choice venue for a Boston-centric event.

The Catered Affair at the Boston Public Library is excited to highlight the library in all its beauty with a week dedicated to its many rooms and spaces. Join us as we journey through the library and devour all that it has in store.

Bates Hall

Ascending the McKim Lobby staircase and standing at the helm of Bates Hall, your eyes are drawn to its immense beauty. Vaulted high ceilings, the crisp undercurrent of leather and paper, and the knowledge that this room is yours for the night makes every guest giddy and excited by the thought that for once, they don’t have to be quiet in the library.

Bates Hall is the epitome of a library space—walls adorned with book cases, reading lanterns and tables— and is the most recognizable halls in the library. While the rooms hold all the familiarity of its daytime public space, after hours it can easily be transformed into your venue for cocktail receptions, a seated dinner, or a company holiday party or awards night.

Acknowledged by many to be architecturally one of the most important rooms in the world, Bates Hall features a majestic barrel-arched ceiling enclosed by half domes on each end, English oak bookcases, busts of eminent authors and Bostonians, and a richly carved limestone balcony. The hall, located on the second floor of the McKim Building, is named in honor of Joshua Bates, a London merchant banker born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, who, in 1852, gave the library $50,000 for the purchase of books.  Since then, the grandeur of the hall has excelled as one of Boston’s most creative spaces for your special event. Host a standing reception for up to 500 guests or plan an elegantly catered dinner with up to 330 of your clients, employees, or wedding guests in one of Boston’s most historic and well known rooms.

Our tip? Be bold in your color scheme choices and floral arrangements. Despite the green lamps in Bates Hall, the room can really take on most color schemes – even hot pink! Plus, the long tables in there are great for pre-set charcuteries / cheese plates or family style side dishes for sharing.

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