Get your tickets to The 2019 Sparrow Lecture!

 

Tickets are now available for the 2019 Sparrow Lecture with Robert Baird: The Restoration of one of America’s most iconic landmarks, the US Capitol Dome. Special Introduction by Senator Angus King. Funds from the Sparrow Lecture support the Mechanics’ Hall member library, our year round programming as well as the ongoing restorations and maintenance of this culturally significant historic building. The event will take place on Friday, November 8th at 7pm. Patron tickets which include a pre-lecture reception at 6pm are also available.

​Image source: Architect of the Capitol
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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 is to inspire and enrich the community by promoting ingenuity, creativity, innovation and the diffusion of useful knowledge.

We are the modern mechanics.

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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.

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

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