Our History

 1896– Built in 1896, the Columbus Athenaeum is located in the heart of downtown Columbus, close to many hotels and entertainment venues.  Construction began on the new home of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Two years later, at the corner of Fourth and Lynn Streets, the Masonic Temple opened.

1914– Expansion northward begins. The Grand Ballroom, largest in downtown Columbus, and a 1000-seat Auditorium are added.

1934– To accommodate increasing membership, the city’s largest kitchens were added along the north side of the ballroom; access to the upper levels of the auditorium was improved, and additional meeting spaces and dining areas were added.

 1996– The Columbus Athenaeum, Ltd. purchased the Masonic temple from the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. New air conditioning and heating systems have been installed, restrooms added, and elevators and electrical systems updated. Fresh paint, new carpet and draperies, and improved floor plans promise a second century as distinguished as the first.

The Columbus Athenaeum is a beautifully restored urban palace located in the heart of downtown Columbus.  Whether you choose our ballroom, either of our two theatres, or any of our elegant rooms, we can create the ambiance you seek for any occasion. From weddings to parties, business seminars to theatrical productions, we have the space to suit your event.  With audio-visual experts on staff, and a full menu prepared by our Executive Chef, we make your event planning easy.

*     *      *     *     *

Our Rooms include:

Our majestic Olympian Ballroom, with banquet seating for 900, has a mezzanine balcony about its perimeter.  The center section opens to 25’ hand-painted ceilings.  Its elegant gold accents, carved trim, antique light fixtures and classic maple ballroom floor complete this graceful one-of-a-kind space.

Adjacent to the Ballroom is the Oak Room. Polished oak-paneled walls, teal velvet drapes and intricately carved oaken ceiling panels complete the décor. This room pairs nicely with the Ballroom for a change of theme and mood. Cocktails before dinner? This is your venue!

The Small Theater and the Large Theater are appropriate choices for parties of 230 or fewer.  The Small Theater features a 25’ foot stage, hand-painted ceilings and an antique pipe organ in the balcony.  This room has a special aura, classically elegant yet intimate.  Unique for its arena floor surrounded by 950 seats set at a steep rise, the Large Theater offers all the drama one could ask. Forty-foot ceilings, gold leaf accents, and professional theater lighting set the stage for your event.

The special gem of the Athenaeum is the Priory.  Dating from 1898, it features gothic buttressing, cathedral ceilings, hand-painted faux marble walls, and scenes of the crusades in the wings.  This room has great Old World charm, and its frescoes offer a wonderful backdrop for that perfect wedding ceremony or any special occasion.  When coupled with the Small Theater, you will find the perfect setting for both ceremony and celebration.

The Athenian Room, the Hellenic Room and the Macedonian Room are ideal for groups of 75-150. The Athenian Room boasts luxurious dark blue carpeting with burgundy velvet drapes and ivory walls, a 16’ gold accented ceiling with classic lighting fixtures an 11’ carpeted stage.  Natural light abounds in the Hellenic Room, where the windows are hung with gold drapes, and the floor is carpeted in gold, sage and blue.  This room has a 13’ ceiling and elegant art deco light fixtures.  It is a perfect setting for luncheons, parties or wedding receptions. Hand-painted Egyptian revival designs adorn the walls of the Macedonian Room. Completely internal, with no exterior walls or windows, and an elevated dais at its head, this room is perfect for a small reception, luncheon or meeting where privacy and quiet are valued.

The Spartan Room and the Corinthian Room are appropriate for groups of fewer than 100.  The Spartan Room is a light and airy salmon-toned room.  The carpet is a modern Greek design of dark blue, red and salmon.  Dark salmon drapes accent the 9’ carpeted stage.  It is a perfect room for receptions, seminars and training classes. Next door, the Corinthian Room is a dashing room with navy velvet drapes and gold tassels.  This room has a 16’ ceiling adorned with gold crown molding.  The 9’ carpeted stage is also draped with navy velvet curtains. This is an ideal setting for a gathering of friends or a small formal dinner.

The staff at the Columbus Athenaeum is dedicated to ensuring that your event is a success.  Ample parking is available in adjacent lots and downtown hotels are nearby.  We look forward to planning your event with you.