River House is a little different than most venues in that it is owned by a private non-profit organization, the St. Johns County Council on Aging. On the weekdays, the building operates as an active senior center with all types of classes and programs for residents and visitors alike. On the weekend, it transforms into an event venue, hosting 750+ social and corporate events since its 10 years in business. Proceeds from the venue rentals directly support the non-profit’s mission and day-to-day upkeep of the building, making River House a dual-purpose facility with truly unique functions.
A woman by the name of Mary Peck, a longtime supporter and active participant of COA programming, willed that her home be used for the benefit of community elders when she passed away. Her wish was to provide waterfront dining for seniors, so older adults could enjoy the Bayfront view that she had loved during her lifetime. With her donation, a vision was brought to life. Her home was sold and the profit was used as the seed money to build River House.
Cathy Brown, COA’s Executive Director at the time, is credited with the brilliant idea of constructing a building that could house senior programing during the week, and host special events on the weekends. It became the perfect balance — providing St. Johns County with a state-of-the-art, nationally accredited senior center, as well as a prestigious event venue on the Bayfront overlooking the Matanzas River, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Bridge of Lions.
A.D. Davis Construction broke ground in May 2009, and River House opened its doors in January 2010. The River House Ballroom is named in Ms. Peck’s honor, and a portrait of her created by local artist Jean Troemel is displayed there.
To learn more about COA’s mission and impact on St. Johns County, click here.
My husband and I live 2.5 hours away, planning our wedding in St. Augustine we thought would be difficult since we lived so far. It wasn't at all! The River House staff was incredibly helpful in all aspects of our wedding. Through their recommendations and knowledge it was amazingly easy and stress free. I would recommend this venue for anyone looking for a beautiful, well kept facility. We couldnt have asked for a better wedding day!
We had our wedding reception May 25th, 2019 and it was perfect! My husband and I live in Jacksonville but all of our guests were coming from Pennsylvania. We picked the River House because if he indoor/outdoor flexibility! We wanted our guests to embrace the Florida lifestyle! We didn’t have to worry about the weather and got to enjoy the beautiful views of the river and lighthouse. There also have their own dock where we took amazing sunset photos. Lastly, Constance and her staff were a joy to work with and always willing to help!
Constance and her team are A DREAM! From the beginning to end, they helped make our wedding wants and needs a reality. The River House is a wedding reception venue GEM! The ballroom, library, outdoor patio and dock, even the front entrance, the entire place is the PERFECT place to get married. We met with other venues before who acted as if they were doing us the favor by letting us get married there, NOT Constance and the River House. I can’t thank them enough for helping make our wedding day the most beautiful, special and PERFECT day!