Learn to speak Guitar with Nathan Richardson!


On Wednesday, January 29th, we are pleased to welcome Nathan Richardson as our first Makers at the Hall speaker of 2020. Richardson is a ‘guitar whisperer’, experienced luthier, and author of the book Learning to Speak Guitar: A Luthier’s Thesaurus. Presentation starts at 7pm.

​Image courtesy of Nathan Richardson


Our future is bright. Join us!


What makes Mechanics’ Hall special to you?


Did you know that over twenty-five thousand people now come through our building each year? Your generosity supports the day to day expenses associated with maintaining this historic landmark but of equal importance, it supports the activities that bring our building to life.

In 2020, we want to:

  • Expand library hours.
  • Add new seating and study areas to our membership library.
  • Produce more member and community programming.
  • Upgrade the acoustics in our ballroom to better serve the many artists who want to perform in this space.


Will you help us accomplish these goals and more?


Jan. 19th | Mechanics’ Hall presents: Rick Bass


What role does literature play in conversations around environmental justice? Are story and advocacy, art and protest different paths to seeking similar outcomes? Join author and activist Rick Bass in conversation with Catherine Schmitt, Lucas St. Clair, and Cate Marvin for a heartfelt and passionate discussion on how the fields of art and advocacy can combine with that of science and conservation to strengthen climate efforts. 12PM in the Ballroom.

​Image via Lively Times


Palaver Strings to play Mechanics’ Hall!


On Saturday, January 25th, we welcome local string ensemble sensation Palaver Strings to the Ballroom for their winter solstice inspired program On the Nature of Daylight.


Welcome to Mechanics’ Hall

In 1815, the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association was the fellowship for Portland’s creative community: the blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters, and more.  In 1857-59, they built Mechanics’ Hall to house their library and as a communal gathering space. Today, Mechanics’ Hall is working to connect that rich history to the modern makers movement with our mission to inspire and enrich the community by promoting ingenuity, creativity, innovation and the diffusion of useful knowledge.

We are the modern mechanics.

Join us

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Maine Kids Code

Our first season of Maine Kids Code was a huge success and we are now fully enrolled for the next season! Visit mainekidscode.org and sign up for the...

Since the beginning, MCMA has been the premier club of master craftspeople, entrepreneurs and their apprentices. Our members include Maine’s do-it-yourselfers, community leaders, the ingenious, and the industrious. Together, for over two centuries, we remain committed to supporting the practice of craft and the acquisition of knowledge.

519 Congress Street is Mechanics’ Hall. Built in 1859, it houses a grand ballroom, our members library, and a historic classroom.  Gallery space, commercial space, and meeting areas are available for member activities, ongoing rentals, and special occasions.

MCMA was an integral part of Maine’s story. Started in 1815 as a guild to teach and promote excellence among Portland’s various mechanical and artistic trades, the founders recognized that together their blended efforts could make a difference in their community, and, in their words, “warm the heart and reanimate the smile.” Carpenters, glass workers, sailmakers and other craftspeople, exhibited at the associations’ various fairs, held lectures, participated in parades with trade banners, and socialized at the hall.

The Mechanics’ Hall library remains the oldest non-academic working library in our state, founded in the same year as Maine. Begun as library for apprentices and tradesmen, and still housed in the historic building, its modern goals, collection, and acquisition policy are currently under review to fit the needs of the twenty-first century mechanic.  The library is a wonderful, peaceful, oasis in the heart of the city, where one can come to find (or lose themselves in) a great book.

Get involved!

Join as a member or donate to help restore our historic building.

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