Venue Spotlight: The Murphy Chicago

The first step to any great event is picking a venue – and unfortunately, that can often times be the most difficult decision. Lucky for you, Inspired Catering & Events works with a plethora of outstanding venues within the Chicagoland area that allow us to help you pick the perfect location for your event.

This month, we’re spotlighting one of our favorite historical venues to work with, The Murphy Chicago. The Murphy is located at 50 E Erie Street, right in the middle of the Streeterville and River North neighborhoods (the location could not be more perfect!). We had the opportunity to ask The Murphy’s Manager, Cathy Carey, a few questions about her venue and the kinds of events that they hold there.

Q1: Tell us a little about your venue?

A: “The Murphy Auditorium is a historic Chicago event venue located in the heart of downtown. Since opening its doors to public events in 2006, The Murphy has become one of Chicago’s most sought-after event venues. Our event space easily accommodates over 200 people, making it the ideal setting for any type of special event, including galas, fundraisers, weddings, or corporate events. Because of its gorgeous architecture, historic atmosphere, and spacious setting, The Murphy has been fortunate enough to host some unforgettable events, including fashion shows, television shoots, professional sports media events, university alumni awards, and commercial shoots.”

Q2: What types of events (weddings, meetings, galas, etc.) do you typically see The Murphy used for?

A: “The Murphy is also a premier Chicago wedding venue. Hundreds of weddings have been held in the auditorium, each one bringing a different style, decor, and feel to the space. With incredible French style architecture and plenty of space, The Murphy can comfortably accommodate your guests, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening. The main event space can be set up in a variety of ways, and is complete with a stage, making it the ideal location for your wedding ceremony or reception. Bringing a touch of elegance to each and every event, The Murphy is also the perfect corporate event venue, and we’ve hosted a variety of corporate dinners, galas, and receptions over the years.”

(Inspired Catering & Events absolutely LOVES hosting weddings at The Murphy. The historical features of the venue are such a unique and amazing touch to an already elegant event, and allow us to pair perfectly matched equipment, linen, and food to a stunning room.)

Q3: What’s the biggest question you get asked when clients want to book with the venue?

A: “Probably…’Is the price negotiable?’  Truly we try to maintain a modest pricing for upscale events.   Likewise, our building is so beautiful, you save on décor, since there is little need for additional décor.”

(This could not ring truer! Simplicity goes a long way at The Murphy, and it makes for an incredibly sophisticated and chic event.)

 Q4: What are couples/clients most drawn to at your space?

A: “Truly a historic venue.. the beauty of the building [is it’s] ‘old world charm.’”

(A little more about that “Old World Charm” from Cathy Carey:

Ground was broken on the John B. Murphy Memorial Auditorium in 1923, and construction was completed in 1926. The Auditorium was built to serve as a tangible memorial to the great Dr. John B. Murphy. Shortly following Dr. Murphy’s death, his friends sought to honor him by forming the John B. Murphy Memorial Association. The Auditorium was built on the property of the American College of Surgeons (“ACS”), with the agreement that ACS would maintain the building as a memorial to Dr. Murphy. The Auditorium was designed to host ACS meetings and serve as a center for education in surgery.

The architects for this gorgeous building were Marshall and Fox. The architectural design of the Auditorium is in the French Renaissance style and is reminiscent of the Chapelle de Notre-Dame de Consolation – the Commemorative Monument to the Bazar de la Charite Fire, located in Paris, France.

The Murphy Auditorium was renovated in 1987, due to the growing need for space by some departments of ACS. In 2003, after ACS had moved all offices to the new headquarters building, restoration work began on the Auditorium. This restoration work was completed in June of 2006. Virtually every detail has been restored or replicated to its original design.

The American College of Surgeons maintains ownership of the Auditorium.)

 Q5: What is your favorite type of event to host at The Murphy?

A: “I enjoy weddings a great deal with young and even mature couples starting their life together. It is so nice to experience first hand.  I also love fashion shows and social events when the rooms is really turned into a different look. The Murphy’s 10th Anniversary was spectacular.”

Q6: What makes your venue stand out from the rest?

A: “Being a historical building, The Murphy reminds me of many beautiful building[s] in Europe.   You really can’t appreciate the venue until you walk inside.  While the outside is stunning, the interior is like none other in Chicago.”

Q7: What tips do you have for clients that are planning to host their event at The Murphy?

A: “If you truly like the look and feel of a historical venue, The Murphy is a great value.  I say ‘Express your vision to The Murphy Team, … great location, great value and with dedicated team of wonderful vendors… let the professionals help you every step of the way.’”

The Murphy Chicago is absolutely one of the most beautiful historical venue spaces in Chicago. With its ability to host intimate gatherings to weddings and fundraisers, it’s an ideal space for any event. If you’re looking for an elegant and architecturally stunning venue for your next party, The Murphy is without a doubt the place to go.

To check out more information about The Murphy, see all of the new and exciting things they have going on, and to view pictures from their latest events, visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter and Instagram (you won’t be disappointed!).

To inquire about catering services at The Murphy with Inspired Catering & Events, reach out to our Catering Sales Manager, Tom Kokinakos, at

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