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.
The best choice we made while planning our wedding was choosing River House! From the first day meeting with Constance I knew she was going to be such a pleasure to work with. The venue itself is absolutely beautiful! The ceremony background of the river and lighthouse makes for the perfect pictures. The inside is already beautiful so it doesn’t take much decorating. The pictures online don’t do it justice so make sure to schedule an appointment to go see it, you will not be disappointed! Our guests couldn’t stop commenting on how beautiful the venue was. We cannot say enough good things about River House!
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!
My wedding at River House was a dream come true! If I could do it all over again I would choose to do it there again. Everything about the venue was beautiful and perfect. The dance floor is big and beautiful. The library and outdoor area were perfect for cocktail hour. My guests loved the amazing river view and dock. The staff there is amazing and they helped me out with so much. If you are thinking about checking out river house DO IT!!