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Big Red Barn

The exterior of the Big Red Barn.

The Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center (the Barn), an old carriage house turned student center, is in the heart of campus and surrounded by lawns and gardens. A central place for eating and relaxing, the Barn hosts more than 400 events per year, including the ever-popular T.G.I.F. (Tell Grads It’s Friday), Trivia Night, and Annual Year-End BBQ.


The spacious main portion of the building includes a stunning, but cozy, mezzanine. Tables and chairs cluster around a large grass pellet stove creating a warm setting for events. The upstairs mezzanine has lounge furniture for small group gatherings and leisurely study. The sunlit “greenhouse” has additional seating and access to the outdoor patio. It can be closed off for special functions.


In warm weather, a brick patio, barbecue pit, and outdoor tables surrounded by gardens are available. The facility is accessible by ramp




Sciences Drive, Ithaca, NY 14853




The full capacity of the Big Red Barn is 165 people inside or 250 people with patio and BBQ area.


The capacity for a sit-down dinner is 100 people or 75 to 80 people with a dance floor.


The capacity for buffet dinner is 120 people or 100 people with a dance floor.


The capacity for the 600 square foot patio with tables and chairs is 40 people; with chairs capacity is 85 people, or standing only at 120 people.


A tent for the patio measures 15 feet by 30 feet with no sides and must be 12 feet from the building. No tents are allowed in the Urn Garden.


Rental Fee


The 2022 rental fee is $750 per day for the Big Red Barn. Use of the Urn Garden is an additional $300 per day. There is a $25 flat fee for use of audio-visual equipment: TV, PowerPoint, mics, DVD, etc. There are additional charges for any staffing, catering, or rentals. Conference & Event Services will work with you on the specifics for your event to provide a full quote.




On weekdays during the academic year when the Big Red Barn is open, only two areas of the Barn may be reserved so that we can accommodate our customers in the other space. In the summer and on Saturday and Sunday throughout the year when the Big Red Barn is closed, the entire building can be reserved.




The Big Red Barn was built in the 1870s as the carriage house for the home of Cornell’s first president, Andrew Dickson White. The Barn, one of the oldest structures on campus, was converted to a social center by Cornell alumni in the 1950s and underwent a complete renovation in 1991. Antiques and farm implements recollect the building’s past, while new additions remain faithful to its rustic atmosphere.