Frequently Asked Questions

How many people will the Tacoma Union Station Rotunda accommodate?

The capacity depends on the type of activities you have planned. There is a maximum capacity 800 people in a seated reception setting. The Rotunda area is 9,000 square feet and the Balcony area is 4,000 square feet. We can provide you with basic floor plans for those areas so you can experiment with your table placement.

What areas of the Tacoma Union Station are included in the rental?

When you have an event at the Tacoma Union Station you have use of the Rotunda, Balcony and the Concourse levels.  These three levels are accessible by the use of stairs or an elevator. The areas cannot be rented separately for any reason.

What is the difference between “Setup/cleanup” and “Event” time?

“Setup/cleanup” time can be used for setting up tables and chairs, decorating, caterer setup, wedding pictures or rehearsals. During “setup/cleanup” time, a maximum of 50 people will be allowed in the building. “Event” time is when the doors open to the guests of the function. 

Are cooking facilities available?

Although there are no cooking facilities in the Tacoma Union Station, there is a room with counters and a sink for caterers to use. You may use Sterno as well as electric pans to keep your food warm. Keep in mind that the electrical circuits are 20 amp 120 volt around the Rotunda and Balcony. There are no larger circuits available. Many of the local caterers are familiar with the Tacoma Union Station accommodations.

What are the costs associated with the rental of the Union Station Rotunda?

An estimated cost of your event can be provided once the details of your event have been submitted. There are additional security charges for events with over 400 people.

When can I look at the Tacoma Union Station Rotunda?

The Tacoma Union Station is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The building is closed on weekends and holidays. You are welcome to visit the Union Station any time during the open hours and explore possibilities for your event.

What are the restrictions for playing music in the Rotunda?

Music/bands must not have sound levels above 85 decibels. It will cause damage to the Rotunda dome.

What if we break something in the building at our event; who do we tell?

Any breakage or accidents of any kind should be immediately reported to one of the security officers on duty during your event. Any damages are your responsibility.

Who do we ask questions of during our event?

It is important to get clarification before your event from the Rotunda Rental Coordinator. The coordinator is not at the facility during events. There will be a rotunda event staff representative present to answer questions and offer guidance. Armed security is responsible for enforcing the rules and protecting the federal building.  

Are flowers allowed in the Rotunda?

Flowers look wonderful against the backdrop of the marble walls in the Union Station. We ask that all fresh/live flowers have something under them to protect the marble and terrazzo surfaces.

Does the Chihuly art stay during our event?

Yes! You and your guests will be able to enjoy the beautiful Chihuly art throughout your visit to Union Station.

Is a deposit required?

There is no deposit required. Once you have chosen a date and filled out the necessary application, your reservation is complete.

How can I pay for my event?

Your rental fee must be paid 30 days prior to your event. You may choose to write a check to GSA or pay online with a credit card. 

Does the Tacoma Union Station provide tables and chairs?

When you rent the Rotunda you are only renting the beautiful historic Tacoma Union Station. We do not provide tables and chairs. 

Is there a limit to time changes I may want to make?

From the time you reserve the date until 60 days before the event you can make any changes you need to the times. Keep in mind that each time you make a change a new estimate will be sent to you.

Can I have a candlelight ceremony?

Candles are allowed with some minor safety boundaries. All candles must be contained in a manner that would not allow tipping or spillage of wax. Small votive candles or floating candles are perfect for these events. To ensure the candle set up you choose is allowed in the building, send us a picture of the display so the Rotunda Rental Coordinator can help you.

Is there a bridal staging area?

Unfortunately, we do not have a separate bridal changing room. During your tour, alternative options can be discussed with the coordinator. 

Can we smoke in the facility?

Smoking is allowed outside only at the Station. There are ashtrays at each of the entrances for smokers to use. We must remind everyone that marijuana is illegal on federal property.

Can we bring alcohol to our event?

You are welcome to serve alcoholic beverages at your event to anyone over 21. You must obtain a banquet permit from the State of Washington Liquor Control Board. However, no sale of alcohol is allowed at any time in a federal building.

What if there is an emergency situation?

Security is there to handle emergencies during your event. On your final reminder letter you will receive a number to contact the Rotunda Rental Coordinator if there is a rental situation that can only be answered by the coordinator. However, it is only for emergency situations.

I would like to have doves at my wedding. Are animals allowed in the Union Station Rotunda?

Unfortunately, doves would not be allowed in the Union Station. Only assistance animals such as Seeing Eye dogs would be permitted into the building.

If our event ends earlier than the scheduled time will I receive a refund?

You have until 60 days before your event to make any time changes you need. Once the schedule is set, extra security is scheduled and the heating and air systems are programmed for the event. Therefore, there are no refunds for events that end early.