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.
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!
The River House is absolutely 5 stars with not only a beautiful upscale venue with amazing views, the event team is incredibly attentive, and the interior is suburb for photography. As a wedding photographer I highly recommend the venue to couples being in my top 5 St Augustine wedding venues.
Very beautiful and elegant venue that is perfectly situated on the water and the right location for a gala or wedding or meeting. The rooms are large. The bar is available and it has a nice dance floor as well. It is beautiful for photos at any point of view from the front to the library area and back deck. I really loved it and highly recommend it