Historic Twin Cities Venues For Your Next Business Meeting

Channel the spirit of legendary Twin Cities entrepreneurs with a memorable business meeting at a historic venue.

Historic Twin Cities Venues For Your Next Business Meeting

James J. Hill Reference Library
What better place for a long-range strategic planning session than the James J. Hill Reference Library? A gift from the original “Empire Builder” to the city of St. Paul in 1921, situated on Rice Park in downtown, the magnificent Beaux Arts building is home to a comprehensive library of reference books and resources on virtually every topic except for law, medicine, popular fiction and genealogy, per Hill’s dictate. The wood-paneled Empire Builder room is ideal for board meetings, while the Hill Library Reading Room, lined with rows of leather-bound books, is a stunning setting for conferences, seminars and formal dinners. Internet access is provided; catering can be arranged. 80 W. Fourth St., St. Paul, 651-265-5500,

The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis
For clients with a passion for philanthropy and community service, a business meeting at the Woman’s Club overlooking Loring Park offers a fascinating insight into Minneapolis history. Established in 1907 by 25 dynamic women with a mission to offer education, civic and social service, study and friendly association, membership in the private club is now open to both women and men. Non-members can book meetings and events in a variety of spaces, including the mahogany-paneled Falconer Memorial Library, the 630-seat theater and the rooftop terrace with views of downtown Minneapolis. Internet access, A/V equipment and catering services are available. 410 Oak Grove St., Mpls., 612-813-5300,

The Bakken
Clients with an interest in science will be delighted by an invitation to the Bakken, a library/museum devoted to electricity and magnetism. In 1969, Earl Bakken, co-founder of Medtronic, encouraged an employee to acquire electrical devices and books on electricity. Seven years later, Bakken moved the collection to a grand, Tudor-inspired home on Lake Calhoun, originally built for William Goodfellow, the dry goods retailer who sold his business to George Dayton. Illuminated by Gothic stained glass windows, the Franklin Room is ideal for intimate meetings, while classrooms, the Great Hall and the entire museum can be booked for larger events. Internet service, A/V equipment and catering services are available. 3537 Zenith Ave. S., Mpls., 612-926-3878,

Lafayette Club
If your next ideation session could benefit from a change of scenery, consider the elegant Lafayette Club overlooking Lake Minnetonka, with views of both Lafayette Bay and Crystal Bay. Designed by society architect William Channing Whitney, the club is located on the site of the former Hotel Lafayette, built in 1882 by James J. Hill to capitalize on railroad traffic he’d created. The club is open to non-members for private meetings in the Lakeview Room and larger events in the ballroom. A selection of hotel rooms can be booked in conjunction with events. Internet service, catering and event planning services are available. 2800 Northview Rd., Minnetonka Beach, 952-471-8493,

Clients with a sense of style and/or humor will be captivated by Prohibition, the cheekily glamorous bar/lounge on the 27th floor of the W Minneapolis–The Foshay. During the day, this quiet, out-of-the-way space with 360-degree views of Minneapolis becomes a perfect setting for private meetings, just as Wilbur Foshay intended. Out-of-town clients who’ve never heard the cautionary tale of Foshay will be fascinated to hear how this early Ponzi schemer commissioned a skyscraper to house his empire and his residence, only to lose everything in the Great Depression. The fashionable, flexible space can be configured to accommodate groups of 12 to 40 people for meetings, seminars and other events. Internet, TV and catering are available. 821 Marquette Ave., Mpls., 612-215-3700,

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