by Rebekah Icenesse
St. Louis offers meeting and event planners a diverse range of venues with rich history and vibrant culture. One hidden gem in particular that stands out for its historical significance is the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center, located in the heart of the Locust Business District near Midtown. This multi-use venue is not only a testament to St. Louis’ past but also an ideal destination for meetings and events on all spectrums.
A Historic Treasure
The Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center is a branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and is named after poet Phyllis Wheatley, the first African American poet. First established in 1911 to serve African American women and girls and currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property offers a versatile event space where you can meet among the community’s preserved history and experience new, modern amenities that transform your event to stunning heights. There’s even an exhibit – The Persistence of Spirit – where guests can learn more about the history of the Phyllis Wheatley branch.
Modern, Flexible Meeting Space
In 2022, the heritage center underwent an extensive renovation, bringing the facility a more modern flare mixed with elegance and sophistication. “We chose to make a significant investment, not just because it was a nice venue, but because it’s an investment in the preservation of YWCA history,” explains Lisa Marucci, Chief Marketing Officer of Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center. After a year of renovating, the center reopened in April 2023, ready to provide a state-of-the-art environment that makes your event one to remember. The renovated facility boasts The Great Room, which can accommodate up to 250 people and is equipped with a/v technology and a kitchen for catering services.
Whether you have a small business meeting, seminar, tradeshow, wedding, corporate parties, or social gatherings, The Great Room is fit for any type of occasion. “We also have a beautiful lobby where you could do a pre-reception [before your event],” adds Marucci.
Conveniently located just blocks from downtown St. Louis, the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center is in the perfect spot close to all the city’s attractions. Whether you want to see a sports game or visit Union Station afterward, or if you’ve already planned a business gathering elsewhere and just want a change of scenery for an afterparty, the heritage center’s location allows you to add another layer to your already exceptional event day. “It’s a perfect place for people who are in town for other meetings who want to book a separate venue for a social [event or do breakouts],” states Marucci.
Support Local Community
Booking an event at the heritage center “is an opportunity to be one of the first to be able to experience this new [renovated space] and support your community. It’s important for meeting planners and businesses in the community to support local communities that are ultimately helping a mission,” says Aaren Muex, founder and owner of Divine Events, LLC. “You can have a whole experience and create whatever atmosphere you want in your own space. It’s really remarkable [all of the] ideas that can do some amazing things for your event.”
Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center
1155 Olivette Executive Parkway
St. Louis MO 63132
Rebekah Icenesse is a contributing writer from St. Louis.