Library Restorations Coming Soon

 

Our library is currently closed for restorations to our stacks, floor and more! Get on our email list to stay updated on the progress.

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Become a friend of Mechanics’ Hall!

 

Mechanics’ Hall membership is open to all.  For $50 per year, you can check out books in our library, use our wifi, and you will receive free admission to our Makers at the Hall lecture series as well as a subscription to the newsletter, all while supporting the mission of Mechanics’ Hall and the restoration of our beautiful building for generations to come. And we will send Mechanics’ Hall communications right to your inbox so you can stay updated on new programs, monthly events, hall improvements, and more (we only send about two to three emails per month…promise!).

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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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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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