Wedding season is in full swing here in NYC, but if you know a bride or groom who is still hunting for a unique venue, the opulent Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan’s Flatiron District might be just the ticket. The ballroom's magnificent Neo-Renaissance grandeur and distinguished location are obvious selling points, but one of its best features is something that's not as readily apparent. The lavish space is owned and operated by Common Ground, a non-profit devoted to providing housing and outreach for homeless and other vulnerable New Yorkers, and 100-percent of rental fees go back towards the organization's efforts. So if you're looking for a special place to host your next celebration that also aligns with your values, read on to find out more about what the Prince George has to offer (for surprisingly reasonable rates).
“The Prince George Ballroom is truly a unique venue in New York City,” Karen Jimenez, Prince George Ballroom Events Manager, told us. “When Common Ground acquired the Prince George Hotel in 1996 and discovered the ballroom, the space had fallen into terrible disrepair, but we knew it could be something special and we worked with partners to meticulously restore its original splendor. Since completing the ballroom restoration in 2004, the venue has hosted hundreds of beautiful events, and has contributed invaluable funding to a great cause. All of the net proceeds go to helping the homeless and other vulnerable New Yorkers.”
The building that houses the Prince George was erected in 1904 as an upscale hotel, but ended up falling into hard times during the 1990s. Common Ground was responsible for a full renovation of the venue back in 2004, but wanted to give the magical space some extra polish this year for its 10th anniversary. The non-profit called upon Jamie Drake and Drake Design Associates, Marks & Tavano Workroom and Bone Simple Design to give the historic site a $250,000 facelift, and hosted a festive, 1920s-themed soirée complete with speakeasy-style cocktails, a butcher stand, and twirly-mustached bartenders last week to celebrate the revitalized ballroom. The designers paid careful attention to the preservation of the Prince George’s intricate Neo-Renaissance details while adding modern amenities like energy-efficient lighting and upgraded professional cooking equipment.
The Works Catering, a division of Housing Works, invited guests to step inside a swanky old-world vignette filled with cocktails like “The Bee’s Knees” and mini pineapple upside-down cakes baked according to instructions from an actual 1920s recipe book. All proceeds from The Works Catering go directly towards medical care, job training and social services for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.
With its posh Manhattan location and grandiose decor, you might think that the Prince George would be prohibitively expensive, but it’s actually quite affordable compared to other similar venues. The cost of renting the 4,800-square-foot ballroom and facilities (including a venue manager) for 15 hours is $9,500 ($6,750 not-for-profit rate), 100% of which goes back to Common Ground. If you’re planning a smaller event, the site also features a 3,000-square-foot gallery and a 983-square-foot tea room.
To learn more about Common Ground and the work that they do in New York City, please click here.