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Centennial Hall Complex


To Make a Reservation

Contact the library's Business Office at 286-8368.
Eligibility | Facility Information | Application | Cancellation | Fees | Hours of Use | Parking


Centennial Hall , located at 733 N. Eighth St., is a unique self-contained complex of three meeting spaces adjoining the Central Library. Beautifully restored, this historic and ornate facility is available for rent by organizations engaged in educational, cultural, civic, intellectual, or charitable activities. The library provides staff, equipment, personalized setup and security personnel for each event. Groups must provide Certificate of Liability Insurance. Minimum use: 3 hours. Application must be submitted two months prior to event date.

Events held in Centennial Hall must be educational, cultural, civic, intellectual, or charitable. Examples of eligible activities include author lectures, seminars, classes, graduations, etc. Non-eligible uses include profit-motivated activities, events where contestants/performers pay a fee to participate or are competing for a prize (e.g. talent shows, beauty contests), and events which require a series of three (3) or more reservations in a year. Rules of Use (printable version)

Facility Information

Koeppen-Gerlach Auditorium 

Thousands have enjoyed the use of this classical, gold-leafed lecture hall featuring lighting and sound equipment with auditorium-style seating and a stage that can be used for lectures, seminars, classes and graduations.


  • Stage Information
  • Proscenium is 14' 4" high
  • Deck floor to edge of black drape rod (heather) is 16' 10"
  • Stage left to right width in back is 33'
  • Stage curtain is 30' wide
  • Stage has a large drop-down screen
  • No "fly system" on stage. There is no wing space adjacent to the stage.
  • Dressing areas and washrooms are present on each side of stage
  • Seating capacity 719
Ludwig E. Loos Room 

This beautiful room, 60' x 33', is decorated with silver leaf and can be used for large meetings, receptions or luncheons. Equipment is available for personalized setups. Capacity 150 (reduced when tables, chairs or other setup is included).



C.L. Masters Room

A more intimate room, 26' x 24', with original wood paneling. It is rated for a maximum of 30 people (reduced when tables, chairs or other setup is included) and is used for small meetings, ticket sales, coat check (150), and/or "green" room.


All three rooms are accessed from the lobby entrance at 733 N. Eighth St. Washrooms are also adjacent to the lobby. Handicapped access is provided through the entrance north of the lobby door and south of the drive-thru.

Application Submittal - Submit an application online

Applications must be submitted not less than 60 days and not more than one year prior to the scheduled activity. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. You must complete, sign, and submit the application with the required security deposit in order to hold a date. Phone inquiries do not hold a date. Full payment, insurance certificate, and final floor plans/setup specifications are due at least 30 days prior to the scheduled activity. Application (fill in online and print out to return to MPL with deposit)

At time of reservation, times for entering and exiting the complex must be arranged. Library staff and security will be scheduled according to these time specifications. “Entry” is defined as the time that your group will be able to gain access to the building. “Exit” is defined as the time that you, your guests, and everyone from your group will have vacated the Hall. Your group’s entry and exit times must be shown on your application must include sufficient time for preparation and post-event time needed in the complex. All changes in schedule must be made through the Library Business Office. The library will retain your security deposit and/or your organization will be billed if you do not adhere to your established schedule. Refunds will not be given for events which are shorter than the agreed-upon time period.


Cancellation with full refund can be made by the applicant 30 days prior to the date of the event. Cancellations made by the applicant less than 30 days prior to the event will receive a refund minus a $100 service charge. The library will cancel an event if all required items are not received at least 30 days in advance of the event. The library may cancel any reservation for violation of the Rules of Use at the discretion of library administration. On rare occasions, the library may have to cancel a group’s use of Centennial Hall due to unforeseen circumstances.


A fee and additional security deposit are required for each use of the facility except for library-affiliated events. The deposit will be retained if the event goes over the scheduled time, or the facility is left in a condition which requires extra cleaning or repair.

Centennial Hall may not be scheduled for less than three hours unless the event is a rehearsal for a future event to be held in the facility. Rehearsals may not be scheduled for less than two hours. For billing purposes, hours will not be broken into fractions. If use is for more than one hour, billing will be for the entire hour.

Payment must be made with money order or certified/cashier’s check only. Cash or personal checks will not be accepted. The rates for utilizing the Hall are as follows:

Area Fee Security Deposit*
**Complex $750 for first 3 hours
$250 per hour thereafter
Auditorium $450 for first 3 hours
$150 per hour thereafter
Loos Room $300 for first 3 hours
$100 per hour thereafter
Masters Room $225 for first 3 hours
$75 per hour thereafter
Loos & Masters Room $375 for first 3 hours
$125 per hour thereafter

* Required at time of application.
**You are using the “complex” if you use the Auditorium and one or more other areas of the facility in a single day, and you will be billed $250 per hour from the time you enter the building until the time you exit.

Hours of Use

The Centennial Hall complex may be used Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. No one may remain in the building after 10 p.m. The Hall is not available on City of Milwaukee holidays and closings, and reservations are subject to the availability of library staff.
For more information contact the library's Business Office at 286-8368.