County Courthouse Complex

Grand Staircase, photo by Meg Lee

The Grand Staircase and Gallery is located on the first floor of the Allegheny County Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark and masterpiece of architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Construction began in 1884 and was completed in 1888.

Its architecture is considered among the finest examples of Romanesque Revival and includes Syrian arches, Byzantine capitals, late French Gothic dormer windows, and French Renaissance roofs. One of its most striking attributes is the bell tower, which rises more than 229 feet above Grant Street. The Grand Staircase and Gallery features soaring arches and dignified columns, as well as five murals by artist Vincent Nesbert and flags of the states.

Event in the Courthouse Courtyard

At the center of the Allegheny County Courthouse is the beautiful Courtyard, which features a central fountain and four landscaped gardens. The building rises dramatically around the Courtyard, giving guests spectacular views of its granite bell tower and turrets, arched windows, and steep slate roofs.

 

 

Availability and Rental Fees

Regular Rates

Monday - Friday (5:00 pm - 12:00 am)

  • 0-4 hours: $ 1,500.00
  • 4-8 hours: $ 3,000.00

Saturdays, Sundays, & Holidays

  • 0-8 hours:   $ 4,000.00
  • 8-12 hours: $ 6,000.00

Non-profit Rates

Monday - Friday (5:00 pm - 12:00 am)

  • 0-4 hours: $ 1,100.00
  • 4-8 hours: $ 2,200.00

Saturdays, Sundays, & Holidays

  • 0-8 hours:   $ 2,700.00
  • 8-12 hours: $ 4,000.00

Please Note: Clients must include the time required for any setup and teardown by caterers and/or equipment vendors when calculating the length of events. For example, a 3-hour reception that requires an hour of setup and an hour of teardown would be billed as a 5-hour event. In some instances, setup may begin before 5:00 pm on weekdays, but the main portion of the event may not begin before 5:00 pm.

All Allegheny County venues are subject to sales tax.

Ceremonies and Elopements

Couples may exchange vows on the Grand Staircase inside the courthouse Monday through Friday during business hours (9AM until 5PM), excluding holidays and pending availability. We’ll reserve two hours for you and set white folding chairs, theater-style, for up to 50 guests. There is no charge for the venue or chairs for this type of ceremony.

 

Capacity

Grand Staircase and Gallery

Event Type Capacity
Wedding Ceremony 80 Seated
Reception Up to 150 seated, with dance floor 
Up to 200 standing, cocktail style

Courtyard

Event Type Capacity
Reception Up to 150 seated, with dance floor 
Up to 200 standing, cocktail style

Courthouse Security

The Allegheny County Courthouse is a secure building. All guests, catering staff and other event personnel attending events in the Grand Staircase & Gallery must pass through metal detectors and may be subject to a security screening upon entering the building.

No weapons of any kind are permitted inside the Allegheny County Courthouse.

No metal eating or serving utensils of any kind are permitted inside the Allegheny County Courthouse – either for use by guests or by catering staff. Only plastic, cornstarch or wooden eating and serving utensils are permitted inside the building.

Catering and Rental Equipment

There are no kitchen facilities or refrigeration available in the Allegheny County Courthouse.

Catering is allowed in the Grand Staircase & Gallery, but no metal utensils of any kind are permitted – either for use by guests or by catering staff. Only plastic, cornstarch or wooden eating and serving utensils are permitted due to security regulations.

The Courtyard may be tented. Clients are responsible for making all arrangements with rental companies to tent the area.

Clients are responsible for making all arrangements with caterers, rental companies and vendors for all items and equipment needed for events, including tables, chairs, dishware, glassware, etc. All items brought into the building will be subject to security screening.

Each caterer, rental company and vendor must provide proof of general liability insurance of at least $1 million at least two weeks prior to the event, and each must add “County of Allegheny, its elected officials, officers, appointees, employees and agents” as additional insured.

Clients are responsible for making arrangements for any audio-visual equipment or services.

Alcohol Policy

Alcohol service is permitted but only by caterers or organizations with a valid Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board off-premise catering permit. A copy of the permit must be provided at least two weeks prior to the event.

Each caterer or organization serving alcohol must provide proof of liquor liability insurance of at least $1M (one million dollars) at least two weeks prior to the event, and each must add “County of Allegheny, its elected officials, officers, appointees, employees and agents” as additional insured.

Other Restrictions

Use of candles or open flames is not permitted inside the Allegheny County Courthouse. However, use of flameless candles is permitted inside the building. Use of Sterno fuel is permitted only by licensed caterers.

Outdoor candle arrangements are permitted in the Courtyard, but they must have fire-retardant globes. Use of Sterno fuel is permitted only by licensed caterers.

There are no dedicated dressing areas for members of wedding parties inside the Allegheny County Courthouse. Wedding parties may use the public restrooms on the ground floor of the building.

Use of confetti, rice, birdseed, sparklers and fireworks is prohibited both inside and outside of the Allegheny County Courthouse.

External Lighting

The Grant Street façade and bell tower of the Allegheny County Courthouse are equipped with LED lights. Clients may choose the color scheme of the lights during their events.

Reservations and Payments

A signed rental agreement and 50% down payment – by certified check or money order only – is required. The remaining payment – by certified check or money order only – is due 60 calendar days prior to the reserved date.

Rental agreements signed within 60 calendar days of the reserved date will require payment in full – by certified check or money order only.

Cancellation of an event 60 calendar days or more prior to the reserved date will result in a full refund.

Cancellation of an event 30-59 calendar days prior to the reserved date will result in a 50% refund.

No refund will be given if the event is canceled fewer than 30 calendar days prior to the reserved date.