National Aviary Breaks Ground on New Event Space and Entryway

December 19, 2019 – The National Aviary broke ground today on a new 9,000 square-foot construction project to build an event space and entryway, slated to open in fall 2020. The new event space, The Garden Room, is a purposefully designed, versatile event space that will host weddings, corporate events, and meetings with access to beautiful outdoor amenities, and provide ample space for the National Aviary’s growing education programs. The entryway, The Charity Randall Foundation Eagle Hall, will transform the National Aviary’s west entrance and offer interior connectivity between National Aviary habitats and The Garden Room. This area will also include a new lobby with a gift shop and restrooms.

Lead funding for The Garden Room has been provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, with additional funding provided by The Charity Randall Foundation, Eden Hall Foundation, Allegheny County Economic Development Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund, Jack Buncher Foundation, Charles M. Morris Charitable Trust, and Robert and Mary Weisbrod Foundation.

“We are thrilled to break ground on The Garden Room and new entryway at the National Aviary, and to celebrate the start of this project with our partners and funders,” says Cheryl Tracy, Executive Director of the National Aviary. “The National Aviary has experienced record growth in recent years, and this project positions us to continue our forward movement. The Garden Room will be a dazzling space to host weddings and events year round, and provide space for the growth of our education programs serving our community’s schools.”

Purposeful in design and highly versatile, The Garden Room will be available year round for facility rentals and will host the National Aviary’s education programs that work with area school groups and Northside elementary schools via the One Northside project. Events in The Garden Room will enjoy access to beautiful outdoor amenities. The 9,000 square-foot project will comprise the construction of The Charity Randall Foundation Eagle Hall, a 1,000 square-foot entryway that will feature a gift shop and restrooms, and provide seamless indoor connectivity between the National Aviary’s habitats and The Garden Room.

The Garden Room and entryway construction will employ Green Building/Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Standards, upholding and advancing the National Aviary’s high standards for sustainability, and will follow ADA guidelines for accessibility. The Garden Room’s construction of glass, masonry, and wood will give the space a natural feel that compliments the surrounding architecture. The building’s design will incorporate Vitro Architectural Glass with a bird-safe pattern. The versatile space features large windows and doors that open up to an elegant terrace, providing access to beautiful outdoor amenities.

Landscaping will incorporate primarily native plants along the beautiful walled garden area, paying homage to the Rose Garden that originally existed in the 1800s. The Garden Room will allow for improved access to the garden by the community.

The Garden Room is anticipated to open in fall 2020. The National Aviary will remain open during construction. Bookings for weddings and events in The Garden Room are being accepted now for fall 2020. The National Aviary is a 2019 WeddingWire “Couples’ Choice Awards” and The Knot’s “Best of Weddings” award winning venue.

The Garden Room project sponsors include Vitro Architectural Glass and Atria’s Hand Crafted Catering. Major project partners include Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff and Goettel; Jendoco Construction Corporation.

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About the National Aviary:

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated to birds. Located in Allegheny Commons Park on Pittsburgh’s historic Northside, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary’s large walk-through habitats create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and to meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world. For more information, visit

The National Aviary inspires respect for nature through an appreciation of birds.

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