District Hall’s unique character is defined by its civic nature and public purpose. Our mission is to build, strengthen, and connect individuals and communities of innovators while expanding the reach, visibility, and benefits of Greater Boston’s innovation economy.
What is District Hall?
District Hall is a dedicated civic space where the innovation community can gather and exchange ideas. Inside you’ll find open workspace, classrooms, assembly space, flexible use ‘pods’, and writable surfaces everywhere! Also stop by for coffee and food at Brew and Gather.
District Hall is the result of a collaborative public-private partnership. The City of Boston’s vision for the Innovation District called for a gathering space for innovators to get together and share ideas. The building was privately funded and built by Boston Global Investors, as the first project in their twenty-three acre masterplan for Seaport Square. Operations and programming are run by the Venture Café Foundation, a not-for-profit sister organization to the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). Our hospitality partners are Gather and Brew, both operated by The Briar Group. The building and the restaurant were designed by Hacin + Associates.
Without the generous support of our Founding Sponsors John Hancock, Foley Hoag, Microsoft, and Suburban Integrated Facilities Resources; and our In-Kind Sponsors IdeaPaint, Philips Color Kinetics, Bose, Haworth, and Digital Sky, District Hall would not be the unique space it is today.
Why is District Hall different?
District Hall is not your average event space. Its unique character is defined by its civic nature and public purpose. Our mission is to build, strengthen, and connect individuals and communities of innovators while expanding the reach, visibility, and benefits of Greater Boston’s innovation economy.
Who is the founding team?
District Hall was envisioned by the City of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority as an anchor to the Innovation District, a home for Greater Boston’s innovation and entrepreneurship communities, and a symbol of their global leadership.
Boston Global Investors (BGI), led by John Hynes, financed the design and construction of District Hall in partnership with Morgan Stanley. It is the first building in BGI’s development of Seaport Square.
David Hacin and his team at Hacin + Associates led the architecture of District Hall’s space and its exterior and interior design, including the restaurant space.
The Briar Group envisioned District Hall’s restaurant, financed its construction, and operates it. Its sister organization, Boston Event Solutions, provides event and catering services for events at District Hall.
Without the generosity of John Hancock, Foley Hoag, Microsoft, Suburban Integrated Facilities Resources, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, IdeaPaint, Haworth, Bose, Digital Sky, and Philips Color Kinetics, District Hall wouldn’t be where it is today.
What kind of spaces are inside? How do I book space?
District Hall has spaces available for meetings and events of all sizes. District Hall is designed for flexibility: to support everything from off-site brainstorm sessions to cocktail receptions, from hackathons to award ceremonies, from annual meetings to dance parties. Whether you have 4 people in town for a brainstorm session, or four hundred experts getting together to explore the future of their industry, there is space here that works.
We have open lounge space with writable IdeaPaint walls everywhere, perfect for casual drop-in meetings. We also have small and large conference-style spaces, perfect for classrooms or workshops. District Hall’s assembly space can fit 200+ attendees for a seated, theater-style presentation, or can be divided into smaller spaces for breakout sessions.
For more detailed information about our space and to see a full virtual tour of the building (produced by local startup Youbiq), please visit http://www.districthallboston.org/spaces
If you are interested in hosting a future event or meeting in our space, please fill out our official event request form. We will get back to you as soon as possible with a quote and more information.
If you are interested in hosting an event this week, please take a look at our last-minute booking system to see if we have any space available.
How do I get involved and stay in touch?
District Hall is a gathering and event space for the innovation economy. We have public drop-in meeting space with plenty of writeable walls, free wifi, comfy seating, and a coffee shop with excellent snacks. Our Lounge space is open and flexible, built to foster collaboration and community. Feel free to drop by!
1. Hang out. Bring your laptop to our lounge space, grab a coffee at Brew, have a team brainstorm and write all over the walls, and finish the day with a cold beverage and a dinner at Gather. We’re here from early morning until late night so stop by and say hello.
2. Have an event. Whether it is a hackathon, a creative charrette, a lecture, a workshop, or a multi-day conference, we have flexible spaces to support events large and small and everything in between. Send us an email with your idea.
3. Have a meeting. Does your executive team need a place to get off the grid? Does your startup need to impress potential investors? Do you want to treat some clients to a thank you lunch? Send us an email or just drop by to see our space.
4. Become a sponsor. District Hall is a mission-driven, not-for-profit space. In order for District Hall to help innovative ideas get off the ground and expand the impact of innovation to underrepresented communities, we need support. Get in touch here.
5. Let’s get creative. This is a building about innovation and creativity. If you have an idea for something that should happen here, send us an email.
Do you offer cost reductions on your space?
District Hall is itself a nonprofit event space run by the Venture Café Foundation, so we understand the difficulties of finding affordable space for your budget. We work to keep the price of our event space low, and we have a built a large network of sponsors and partners to help us achieve that goal. However, we know that there are important events run by innovative and forward-thinking groups that don’t have a big budget for event production.
We make space available at no or reduced cost to free, nonprofit, public, innovation, and community focused events. As part of our dedication to the Boston innovation community, in 2015 alone we donated over $1M in sponsored event space.
District Hall cost reductions are determined on a case by case basis. We usually look for the following criteria:
- Event mission: Events and gatherings that help make connections, grow new ideas, and build an inclusive and supportive innovation community.
- Organization type: We like to support community and innovation focused organizations (non-profits, startups, etc.)
- Free for attendees: Events that do not charge attendees for access
- Public: Events that are open to the public at large and can be listed on District Hall’s public calendar
Where is District Hall located?
The 12,000 sq. ft., one-story building is surrounded by a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, startups, artists and businesses in Boston’s Innovation District and within easy reach of the city’s major transportation, research, arts, higher education and entrepreneurship hubs.
What options are there for parking in the area?
District Hall has a number of bike racks available for guest use by the Seaport Boulevard entrance. In addition, the building is located right next to the Seaport Square Station on the Hubway bikeshare network.
There is parking available in a large lot to the west of the building. There is also metered street parking available around the building. Please bring quarters for the meters or purchase a parking meter card from the Boston Transportation Department.
What is the Venture Café Foundation?
The Venture Café Foundation believes that every person with an idea should feel empowered to become a successful entrepreneur. The Venture Café’s mission is to connect the innovation community, expand the definition of innovation, and build a more inclusive innovation economy. The Venture Café Foundation enhances and accelerates the innovation process through spaces, programs, and conversations for individuals and organizations to gather and build relationships. Please visit our website for more information about our other programs.
The Venture Café Foundation is incorporated as a Massachusetts Not-for-Profit Corporation and is a 501 (c) 3 company.