Location, Location, Location – Venues With Character

Anyone who has ever planned an event knows the importance of the venue. And there are so many considerations to make when choosing the perfect location for your event. Price, parking, catering reputation, and A/V capibilities are certainly at the top of the list. Somewhere on that list, however, there can be room for the venue’s character.

sixtystatevaultOver the past couple of years, I have had the opportunity to attend some events in other cities, and I’ve been so impressed with a few venues that just oozed character. In Rust Belt cities like Buffalo, buildings that overflow with character are a natural resource, often just waiting to be plucked from the rubble and converted into a spectacular event venue. (It’s on my “to do” list.)

Here are a couple of particularly cool events. I recently attended a party at Sixty State Place in Albany. It is the former corporate headquarters for National Commercial Bank and Trust.

Click here to see a Sixty State Place photo gallery.

The old financial institution still has the old vault in the basement, as you can see in the pictures. When we were there they served hors d’oeuvres out of the vault. The finishes throughout were spectacular. I spent a lot of time looking at architecture and finishes and I couldn’t help but thinking about the building’s past.

Of course I snapped a picture for my Instagram page.

While I have never been to Aria in Minneapolis, a good friend shared the website of this gem. An warehouse that was built in the late 1800’s Aria is the definition of cool.

The best gallery is here on the wedding page, but there are cool pictures throughout the website.

One of my favorite features in Aria is the wall that was removed, leaving the rooms behind it open to the event space. As a guy who spent his formative years in the 1980’s, how could I not be enthralled by the Talking Head’s David Byrne’s “Playing the Building” installation.

So, what are your priorities when choosing a venue for your event? Do you want your guests to ooh and ah at their surroundings? Can a cool space upstage the event or the bride and groom?

Of course, Buffalo and Western New York have their fair share of excellent event venues with character. What’s your favorite?