Anniversary Open House!

 

Mechanics’ Hall is turning 160!! Come celebrate with us on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 which marks the 160th year since the completion and dedication of Mechanics’ Hall in 1859. Join us for decorations, re-dedication, and special events. As usual, the library is open from 10 AM – 1 PM. At 1 PM, President Pam Plumb kicks off the commemoration, followed by highlights of MCMA history by Life Member Herb Adams. Light refreshments and the original 15 dedication Toasts (in punch — the MCMA was a Temperance outfit) to follow. Historian-led tours of the ever-improving Hall will run until 3PM. Celebrate the past and hail to the future of Mechanics’ Hall! Members, visitors, and friends all welcome. Donations for upcoming Hall maintenance and restoration are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

 

FREE and open to the public. Elevator access to 2nd floor library.

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Our library has over 30,000 volumes addressing general interests as well as specialized collections on Maine and maker arts. Our collection is organized under the Dewey Decimal system for easy browsing.

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Welcome to MCMA

In 1815, the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association was the fellowship for Portland’s creative community: the blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters, and more.  Today we’re working to connect that history to the modern makers movement.  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 MCMA 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 Mechanic’s Hall, 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.