table + chairs + quiet
August 5, 2008 9:28 AM   Subscribe

In Manhattan: affordable evening and/or weekend meeting room rental, by the hour / by the day?

All I need is a big conference table with seating for 15 people or so, in a quiet atmosphere, that allows class meetings (I want to teach small classes, open to the public, that need a roundtable setting rather than a classroom/lecture setting).

I don't need internet or phone or a reception desk out front or fancy chairs or a sleek corporate feel. Just simple, clean, affordable, quiet space that allows class meetings.

I'd probably be looking to rent for a few long evening and/or weekend blocks each month, but not on a regular schedule (couldn't be every Monday evening or every Saturday morning, for example; I'd need to be able to schedule some mix of different evening and/or weekend times).

What I'm finding so far are nice corporate spaces (way expensive) and dance/music rehearsal spaces (cheap, but might have lots of noise from adjoining rooms) and church/religious spaces (I'd rather find a non-religious space).

Where should I be looking?
posted by kalapierson to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Have you tried universities? They'll sometimes make space available to the public (or, more commonly, alumnae if you went to school in Manhattan) and they'd have lots of rooms that were pretty much precisely classroom spaces.

Libraries also often have public rooms available.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:32 AM on August 5, 2008

Response by poster: Good thoughts, but sadly, conventional wisdom about public spaces doesn't really apply in Manhattan. (I'm not usually so fixated on "central"/Manhattan location -- but in marketing these classes, I need them to feel at least somewhat centrally located). A few NYPL and university locations have *very* nice, very expensive corporate-feeling spaces for event rentals, but they don't have simple private spaces for the community. (Private space is really at a premium here.)
posted by kalapierson at 10:02 AM on August 5, 2008

I second libraries.

Also, some Panera restaurants have private rooms you can reserve.
posted by amro at 10:06 AM on August 5, 2008

Response by poster: (I'm probably not being specific enough -- I'm looking in central Manhattan, I'd say Midtown through the southern tip, an extremely dense area where the private spaces available to rent in NYPL branches are very formal, expensive "event" spaces, ballroom/lounge type spaces. Outside central Manhattan there's a world of options [I've already found two beautiful and cheap Brooklyn locations] but I haven't found my good central-Manhattan options yet and that's what I'm looking for here.)
posted by kalapierson at 10:38 AM on August 5, 2008

The Open Center has some spaces, including something that might fit your needs. Unfortunately, the website seems to be down at present.
posted by kimdog at 10:57 AM on August 5, 2008

I assume you've discovered, or are discovering, that Manhattanites do use church/religious spaces for non-religious purposes such as annual condo association meetings, political organizing, etc. Your students would not infer that you support the religious goals of such a place.
posted by Dave 9 at 12:11 PM on August 5, 2008

Yeah, I would go with a church too. You can try the church at 12 west 12th, which has lots of things going on. There is also a church at the citicorp center, which is a little more corporate.

I have done events at elementary schools as well. I could probably get some specifics if you like.
posted by shothotbot at 3:24 PM on August 5, 2008

Here is one place which has hosted events at non profit rates (for an actual non profits YMMV): seafarers house, 123 east 15th st.
posted by shothotbot at 6:47 PM on August 6, 2008

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