Weekday Meetings and Retreats

Weekday Event Rentals at the Awbury Arboretum Cope House:

Conferences, Meetings, Retreats and More

We welcome you to read our Frequently Asked Questions below and to be in touch – either by filling out our inquiry form or contacting us at events@awbury.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Awbury different from other rental venues?

– Awbury is a comfortable, welcoming space.

–  Our rental program supports our mission of preserving and interpreting our historic house and landscape and providing our urban community free access to nature and history 365 days a year.

– The Cope House, built in 1860, combines Quaker simplicity with Victorian elegance. Between the Wissahickon schist exterior, floor-to-ceiling windows, wrap-around porch, and surrounding 55-acres of historic English Landscape, we offer many unique and beautiful vistas for your guests to enjoy.

– The Cope House has seen several exciting renovations in the past few years, including the addition of a blue stone tented patio, installation of air conditioning and improved heating systems, and restored doors, windows, and floors throughout the house. We’ve also installed several garden areas- featuring native, historically local woodland plants, with year-round seasonal interest.

What spaces are available for weekday rental?

There are two options:

1) Our conference room, which seats 13 guests at a board table and an additional 12 guests around the perimeter of the room. Includes a white board.

2) Our parlors, which seat up to 50 guests comfortably. Our parlor space does not generally have furniture in it, but you are welcome to set up and use our six-foot rectangular tables. We have several options for chairs, outlined below.

How much does the venue cost?

9-5 use of Conference Room: $300
9-5 use of Conference Room (non-profit): $150

9-5 use of Parlors: $450
9-5 use of Parlors (non-profit): $225

Additional hourly rate: $50

There is a $100 deposit to told hold date, which will be included towards the balance.
Final payments are due one month prior to the event. If balance is past due, the event may be cancelled and all payments to that point will be forfeited.

These is an additional security deposit of $100, due with your balance, which we will return to you, barring any damage or other breach of contract.

Is the deposit payment refundable?

No, the deposit is non-refundable and may not be transferred to other dates.

What does the fee include?

Your rental includes access to either the conference room or parlors from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
In addition, you and your guests have access to the bathrooms, downstairs kitchen, and lawn and gardens near the house during event hours.
Please note that house access is not available before 9:00 AM or after 5:00 PM- except by special arrangement- and all setup and cleanup must happen during that time frame.

Events with more than 20 people include one outdoor Parking Attendant during arrival.

Are the grounds private during my event?

The grounds of the Arboretum are free and open to the public dawn to dusk every day, and on weekdays the Cope House hosts staff, school groups, volunteers, and other visitors. You may see other guests enjoying the house and grounds. We will, however, not invite other guests to be in the conference room and/or parlors when you are renting them.

While we make every effort to keep your event private and safe, security is the responsibility of client.  The Awbury staff on site at the time of the function are not responsible for security.

Who caters my event?

For weekday events, you may bring in your own food or use outside catering.

We highly recommend working with our event rental partner Birchtree Catering. They:

– have a passion for delicious food and will create a menu that is perfect for your event.
– know our historic house inside and out and offer excellent service, which can include all setup and cleanup.
– are mission-driven, just like Awbury. They source local, sustainable food and are committed to recycling, composting, and other environmentally-friendly practices.
– give Awbury clients special discounted rates!

If you decide not to work with Birchtree Catering, do include information about your caterer, and know that you or they are responsible for setup and cleanup.

When can I come see the venue?

We offer tours of the rental space by appointment during office hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm, or Tuesday-Friday during the wintertime). Please contact the office to schedule an appointment.

How do I reserve a date?

Once you have spoken with the Awbury staff and determined that a specific date is available, please submit a deposit and completed contract.

Are there restrictions on décor?

Due to the historic nature of the house, no nails, staples, tape, or tacks may be used when decorating. “Command Hooks” are allowed, provided they are removed cleanly. The following are also prohibited: open flame (with the exception of birthday candles on a cake), sparklers, incense, rice, confetti, and flower petals- both real and fake. Glitter is also prohibited, including that on costumes, decorations, and party favors.
Please note the fireplaces aren’t operational.
Any decorations or event details that harm the landscape are prohibited.
Art pieces are not to be altered or removed, except by special permission.

Does the Arboretum allow smoking?

No, smoking is not permitted at the Arboretum.

Do you have heat and air conditioning?

We have both air conditioning and heat in the Cope House. Optional heating and cooling are available under the tent for an additional fee.

Where will guests park?

The guest parking lot at the Francis Cope House accommodates about 15 cars. Overflow parking for another 20 or so cars can be made available along Station Road- a lovely 5-minute walk from the Cope House. Finally, ample free parking is available on the streets surrounding the Arboretum (Chew, Haines, and Ardleigh), a 5-10-minute walk from the Cope House. A parking attendant will be present during guest arrival for groups of over 20 people.

Cars may not drive or park on the grass (other than along Station Road as specified); parking only in designated areas. Vehicles may not block the driveway.

For what reasons could I lose my security deposit?

Awbury will retain your security deposit in the case of damage to the property, guests staying on site past the scheduled rental time, or other breach of contract. Assuming none of that happens, we will mail you a reimbursement for your security deposit after your event.