Students and the Perelman Quadrangle

The Perelman Quadrangle is so proud to maintain and support Houston Hall, the nation's first student union. Houston Hall and the other Perelman Quadrangle spaces is the central home for the Penn community and serves as a gateway to Penn for outside groups hoping to reach students.  

Houston Hall - the nation's first student union

Houston Hall was built in 1896 as a private club space for Penn students, and today provides a welcoming environment where students can interact with each other, support their community, and find a home away from home. Today, this historic building remains the center of campus life-- a place where students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests gather for social, recreational, educational and cultural activities. After a multi-million dollar renovation project in 2000, Houston Hall looks much like it did in 1896 but with all the modern conveniences. With fourteen special event spaces, multimedia technology, a food court, and vending and retail space, Houston Hall is a conference center with character.

The Reading Room and Bisto spaces on the first floor offer quiet study spaces, couches for quick naps, and space to enjoy lunch or a study group. On the ground floor you'll find dining options through the Marketplace, Beefsteak, and Insomnia Cookies, with the Creperie on the first floor. The second and third floors house the Chaplain's Office, Office for Student Affairs, and the Perelman Quadrangle administrative office to help you reserve space for your event. This all coexists with the beautiful spaces for meetings, parties, performances, and every type of event in between that students want to create.


The staff at Houston Hall puts on special events duing the year to serve the student body. These events compliment the programming put on by the Office for Student Affairs and the student groups on campus!

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