The Centre Furnace Mansion is a unique place to host a private party, dinner or wedding reception. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mansion has roots in the last 18th century. The original hearth dates to 1791, the brick house dates to 1826, and the rear ell dates to 1846. This house first belonged to the Ironmasters who owned and operated Centre Furnace. In 1855 the Ironmasters donated the land to establish the Farmers High School, which today is known as Penn State University. This historic “birthplace of Penn State” is only one mine downhill from Beaver Stadium. Located at the corner of East College Avenue and Porter Road, our location is easily accessible from State College, PSU Campus, Rt. 322 and I-99.
Facilities available for use at the Mansion include the Hearth Room (the lowest level), the gardens and grounds, a small modern kitchen, and two wheelchair-accessible restrooms. A CCHS docent may also be available for a scheduled time period to give tours of the Mansion to meeting or wedding guests.
Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions
The Hearth Room can accommodate approximately 30 people for a sit down lunch or dinner, 40 for a standing reception. For larger affairs, people rent a tent and hold the function outside on the grounds, typically in the flat area by the historic sycamore tree, the Gazebo Garden, Margery & Rae’s garden or over the parking lot.
The site offers several acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. There are extensive gardens at the Mansion filled with hundreds of varieties of perennials, lilacs and roses. Our volunteer gardeners are passionate about what they do and tend to the gardens weekly from early spring until the autumn snow. The grounds around the Mansion can accommodate up to 100 people. Wedding guests can stroll the gardens, relax in the shade of the trees or play games in the yard.
For receptions, a caterer is typically contracted by the renter to provide linens, dishes, and utensils. Please make arrangements for them to visit the site in advance. Guests also arrange for rental of a tent and other equipment, such as chairs, tables, electrical generator, and so on as needed.
Local groups and non-profit organizations may use the Mansion for a meeting space for a modest fee. There are approximately 40 folding chairs and several folding tables available for use.
Special Events & Private Functions
Special events and private functions may fall under meetings or receptions or they may take on a life of their own. The Hearth Room can be used for a variety of purposes including a presentation area, buffet reception, sit down dinner for up to 30 guests, or for a bridal or baby shower. The upper porch and patio area (with or without a tent) makes a wonderful area for an afternoon tea or evening business social or for appetizers before moving indoors to the Hearth Room.
Availability and Reservations
The Mansion is open to the public for tours Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Reservations and associated set-up times should occur outside these hours. Please note: The CCHS Plant Celebration/Sale is typically held on Mother’s Day weekend and while we are located on the edge of the Penn State Campus, sporting events and graduation ceremonies can affect traffic patterns and access to the Mansion parking lot.
Reservations are taken on a first-come first-served basis. A contract is signed immediately to officially reserve the space. For any private function, a $100 deposit is required when the contract is signed. Due to the impact on the historic grounds and gardens, we can only accommodate 10 wedding or large events per year.
If you would like to reserve space for an event, inquire about availability, or set up an appointment to see the property, call us at 814-234-4779. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!
A list of suggested vendors is available upon request.