Located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, The Harbert Center serves as the home base for several of Birmingham’s most prominent civic clubs. But did you know they also rent out the space for a variety of events? We took a trip to the venue and spoke with several members of the civic clubs and event staff to learn more.
What is The Harbert Center?
Located at 2019 4th Avenue North, The Harbert Center is a meeting facility and event space that also serves as office space for several local civic clubs. The building was constructed in the 1980s, after several Birmingham-based civic clubs came with a vision of a unified “home base” for their operations. After raising funds, the $3.5M Harbert Center was completed and opened on June 18, 1986.
“Since The Harbert Center opened, it has played an integral role in our organization’s ability to hold meetings and events. Having a place to call home has allowed not only our club’s membership to grow, but also our mission of supporting the medical needs of children to grow year after year.”Michelle McIntyre, Executive Director, Monday Morning Quarterback Club
Since then, The Harbert Center has been the home for these founding civic clubs:
However, The Harbert Center isn’t just for these civic clubs. In fact, The Harbert Center can be rented out for a multitude of events ranging from corporate luncheons and networking hours to non-profit fundraisers to weddings and other social events.
Amenities at The Harbert Center
“It’s rare for civic clubs to have a home like this. Most clubs around the nation either rent spaces or go to a restaurant for their meetings. I really think having a home at The Harbert Center gives our clubs an advantage.”Dan Stephens, Executive Director, Rotary Club of Birmingham
The Harbert Center is equipped to host any type of event—whether it’s a grand gala or a smaller, more intimate affair. When you first enter the main atrium, you’re greeted by an impressive 25-foot ceiling, naturally illuminated from the skylights above. Inside the atrium, a towering spiral staircase immediately catches the eye—ideal for photos and grand entrances.
Planning to host a small gathering? Located on the second floor, Bruno Hall is perfect for small to medium-sized gatherings. In fact, Bruno Hall has recently been configured for local teachers and tutors to host online classes.
Located on the second floor of The Harbert Center, the Dunn-French Library is perfect for board meetings, luncheons, seminars and more. Equipped with a wet bar and gorgeous mahogany bookshelves, the Dunn-French Library is a classy and unique backdrop for any event.
The decorative plants in Beeson Hall were provided by Botanica, one of the several local businesses The Harbert Center partners with. Photos via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
For large events, check out the spacious Beeson Hall on the third floor. The hall has a total capacity of up to 400 guests featuring an elevated stage, a dance floor and a separate gathering area. Beeson Hall is the most versatile space in The Harbert Center—used for business conferences, breakfast meetings, class reunions, proms, wedding receptions and anything in between.
Catering from Southern Foodservice
The Harbert Center is equipped with a full kitchen and in-house caterer, led by the culinary expertise of Southern Foodservice—The Harbert Center’s exclusive caterer since 1986. With a variety of seasonal menu options, ranging from hors d’oeuvres to plated dinners, The Harbert Center can take care of it all—so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
“Our favorite aspect is the staff of The Harbert Center. Many of the employees have been here for a long time and treat us like family.”Dan Stephens, Executive Director, Rotary Club of Birmingham
Taking COVID-19 Precautions
The Harbert Center is committed to ensuring the safety of both guests and staff. During the pandemic, the Harbert Center has implemented significant changes in order to reduce an array of risks as best as possible, including:
- Reducing maximum capacities,
- Including hands-free thermometers and waivers as part of a progressive check-in/registration process,
- Stocking hand sanitizers—made by Back Forty Brewing Company—throughout the building and on tables,
- Offering pre-packaged and disposable catering options,
- Increasing service perimeter around tables, with limited seating at each table.
During the event planning process, the event sales team works with each client to implement the right safety measures for each individual event.
“The team at The Harbert Center has navigated the challenges of COVID-19 admirably. They have collaborated with us every step of the way and helped us in thinking creatively about how we can continue our operations safely and efficiently. They consistently go above and beyond to offer services to help make our experience easy.”Lauren Roden, Executive Director, Kiwanis Club of Birmingham
Learn more about The Harbert Center
- Address: 2019 4th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
- Learn more: 205.226.8800 | Website | Instagram | Facebook
Whether you’re planning a virtual event and need a place to live-stream from, are looking for your dream wedding venue, or want to host a company event, The Harbert Center has everything you need to make sure your event goes off without a hitch.
Reach out to The Harbert Center to learn more, or request to schedule an event online.
Have you ever hosted an event at the Harbert Center? What was your favorite part? Tag us @bhamnow to share your thoughts!