Downtown Concierge

Inside 43215: Plan a Partay!


inside 43215


Downtown Columbus

Daylight Savings finally sprang into action, which means your hibernating days are in short supply. Have you thought about celebrating the change of seasons with a big shindig downtown? There are lots of cool spaces all within a quick walk, and we can get you started on a list here.

We’re guessing though that mystery and intrigue are not top priorities for any meeting planner, but we heard a rumor that the Columbus Athenaeum holds tight onto a few secrets, and we couldn’t resist spreading the word.

You may already know that the Athenaeum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unlike what the name suggests, it is not a library learning center or a Greek Temple. It was originally built in 1896 as a Masonic Temple, and the current meeting rooms maintain all the original glory.

From the Olympic Ballroom, to one of the two theatres, to the intimate chapel setting of the Priory, there are meeting spaces that fit the needs of everyone. But we learned there are also hidden passage ways and secret rooms dating back to the Freemasons who built the joint. Queue the spooky music.

Rumor has it there is a robe room in the Athenaeum, and someone found a robe belonging to President Warren G. Harding that he wore during his very own induction into the secret society.

There’s also a complete barbershop, infirmary and billiards room housed in these great walls. It wouldn’t be hush-hush if they told us where to find the hidden passageways, but we did see a few photos so we know the gems exist.

The folks at the Athenaeum won’t ante up details about the passageways, but they promise to make party planning easy sneazy with a full catering menu and a recently acquired liquor license. If you mention this post, when you book an event, they will even give you 50 percent off room rent.