Founded in 1854 as a place for mechanics to satisfy their educational needs, the Mechanics’ Institute
is home to both a stunning library and an elite chess community. Today, the nine-story building has become a haven for readers and workers of a variety of occupations. The library hosts over 160,000 volumes, including print resources on subjects such as literature, fine arts, history, philosophy, performing arts, business, and finance, in addition to a growing audiobook, e-book, and music collection. Visitors are encouraged to take part in one of the institute’s book discussion or writing groups.