New York highlights some unusual function spaces

NEW YORK -- Tired of the meeting room or function space that looks like, well, every other meeting room or function space?

Then consider planning a business function in one of this city's unique venues -- on a television studio set, in a brewery, aboard a boat that cruises New York Harbor or in a museum.

The New York Convention and Visitors Bureau recommends several venues for meetings throughout the five boroughs that it says combine functionality with spaces that stand out from the pack.

The following is an overview of several of these spots.

  • Meeting planners might want to "think" about holding the next meeting or business function inside downtown's Think Tank @ 100 William, which occupies the entire second floor at 100 William St. in the heart of the financial district.
  • This state-of-the-art conference and meeting facility features open spaces filled with natural light, an architecturally innovative floor plan and ergonomically designed furniture.

    Think Tank, which opened in May 2000, can be booked for such things as training seminars, board meetings and cocktail parties.

    It features 13,000 square feet of conference rooms, a lecture hall and training labs along with the latest in Internet and video technology. Meeting packages and technical support are available.

    For additional information or reservations, call (212) 404-4900 or visit the Web site at

  • Another high-tech facility is Times Square Studios, at 1500 Broadway at 45th Street.
  • Between tapings and live broadcasts of such popular TV shows as "Good Morning America," "20/20" and "ABC's Wide World of Sports," the studio's stages can be reserved for corporate meetings, product launches and special occasions for as many as 250 people.

    One of the studio's key selling points is the view of Times Square from its unique window walls.

    For more information or reservations, call (212) 930-7700.

  • Looking for a spot where you can conduct business while "imbibing" local culture?
  • Then consider the Brooklyn Brewery, at 79 N. 11th St. (#1 Brewers Row) in the historic Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

    The company's copper-banded, stainless-steel brewhouse, opened in May of 1996, is set in an 1860s era former steel foundry. Williamsburg once was home to dozens of pre-Prohibition breweries, including the famous Brewers Row, a 10-square-block area containing 11 breweries.

    The Brooklyn Brewery's 70,000-square-foot brewery/warehouse complex includes the Tasting Room, a 300-seat facility that can be rented for private functions, and the Brooklyn Brewery Co. Store.

    For additional information or reservations, call (718) 486-7422 or visit its Web site at

  • Hoping for a "historic" meeting? The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, at 421 E. 61st St., might just be the ticket.
  • A former hotel constructed in 1799, the Mount Vernon offers the 2,300-square-foot Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium, which can accommodate up to 180 people.

    A city landmark, the Mount Vernon features period furniture and a large garden for hosting tea parties, book readings and concerts.

    The museum is equipped for audiovisual presentations and features a kitchen.

    For more information or reservations, call (212) 838-6878 or visit the Web site at

  • One downtown setting with Old World grandeur is the Regent Ballroom at the Regent Wall Street Hotel, at 55 Wall St.
  • The 12,000-square-foot, marble-floored ballroom accommodates up to 1,000 guests seated for dinner and dancing or 2,000 for receptions.

    The room's focal point is an elliptical dome with some of the world's largest Wedgwood panels. Function and boardrooms also are available.

    For additional information or reservations, call (212) 845-8600 or visit the Web at

  • The Museum for African Art, at 593 Broadway between Houston and Prince streets, can host seated dinners for up to 70 people and receptions for as many as 300 guests.
  • Set in SoHo's landmark Cast Iron District, the museum features an extensive collection of African sculpture, paintings and other works.

    The museum is one of only two in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to showcasing historical and contemporary African art.

    For additional information or reservations, call (212) 966-1313 or visit the Web site at

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