Philadelphia's Historic Memorial Hall Reborn As Special Event Venue

Built in 1876 in celebration of the United States' 100th birthday, Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park tops Philadelphia's list of little-known historic landmarks. Now, for the first time in many years, it's also slated to be among the city's most coveted event venues.

After spending years in disrepair, Memorial Hall is currently being restored in order to be the new home for Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum, a children's museum that has operated for more than 32 years at its current location on North 21st Street. When Memorial Hall reopens in October, however, it will contain more than kid-friendly exhibitions. It will also house Max & Me Catering, a premier Philadelphia-based catering company, and at least eight unique event spaces.

"For many area residents, Memorial Hall is one of Philadelphia's great undiscovered historic sites," Barry Gutin, president and CEO of Libre Management, Max & Me Catering's parent company, said in a statement. "The grand setting and imaginative museum, coupled with Max & Me's exceptional cuisine, attentive service and customized events, are sure to make this notable destination one of the Philadelphia region's most coveted event venues."

Among Memorial Hall's distinct event spaces, which include galleries featuring innovative exhibits as backdrops, are:

* The Great Hall, which features 60-foot ceilings and can accommodate approximately 650 standing guests, or 450 seated.

* The South Foyer, which is adjacent to the Great Hall and can be rented in conjunction with it in order to accommodate an additional 450 standing guests, or an additional 250 seated.

* Please Taste Cafe, which offers views of Fairmount Park for parties, luncheons and meetings for up to 100 guests.

* The Theater, which features theatre-style seating that's ideal for lectures, seminars, presentations and performances.