321 Main St.

Mechanics Hall

Considered by many as one of the finest concert halls in North America with near perfect acoustics, Mechanics Hall’s stage has been graced by luminaries from its opening. Charles Dickens and Susan B. Anthony enlightened audiences from its lectern in the 19th century, while the great tenor Enrico Caruso and the scat master Ella Fitzgerald filled the hall with their vocal stylings. In the 1970s, the building was rescued and restored after decades of declining use and neglect. In 1978, in one of the final stages of the restoration, the Waldo street entrance, upon which the mural is painted, was constructed to accommodate modern amenities including elevators and catering facilities.

Mechanics Hall has seen many uses from self-improvement lectures, mechanic fairs, and minstrel shows in the nineteenth century to basketball, roller staking, wrestling, and classical concerts in the twentieth century. Built by the Worcester Country Mechanics Association in 1857 to house their library, lecture series and evening classes as well as concerts and trade shows, the Hall fell into disrepair and financial trouble and nearly faced demolition in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the Worcester Heritage Society stepped in to rescue and restore the building, paving the way for other preservation efforts across the city.