Mechanics’ Institute – Library and Chess Room
Who knew this place existed, I certainly didn’t. Located in the Financial District of SF the institute describes themselves: “The Mechanics’ Institute is a leading cultural center that includes a vibrant library, a world-renowned chess program and a full calendar of engaging cultural events. Founded in 1854 to serve the educational and social needs of mechanics — artisans, craftsmen, and inventors — and their families, the Institute today is a favorite of avid readers, writers, downtown employees, chess players, and the 21st century nomadic worker. We are located in our 9-story landmark building in the Financial District of San Francisco at 57 Post Street”.
I really feel like I’ve been under a rock here. The institute offers a variety of activities and events:
Though initially a library dedicated to the mechanical arts, today’s library has materials in all subjects with special strengths in literature, fine and performing arts, history, philosophy, business, finance, and periodicals that are hard-to-find in electronic format. The latest best-sellers and films are also available, as is a rapidly growing audio-book, e-book, and music collection.
The Mechanics’ Institute prides itself on personal service and its dedication to the “intellectual growth of its members”. Members are encouraged to recommend materials for purchase, attend workshops, and participate in literature and film discussions groups. Currently there are five book discussion groups on a variety of genres and three writers’ groups offering peer-to-peer support, advice, and camaraderie.
The Mechanics’ Institute hosts a diverse range of cultural events including author readings and conversations, lectures, writers’ workshops, technology classes, civic discussions, and community gatherings.
The CinemaLit Film Series presents 35 films a year featuring classic American, Retro and foreign films. The evening begins with introductions by prominent film critics, writers and reviewers with a lively discussion after each film. CinemaLit draws an, eclectic, diverse audience with many film buffs dedicated to our Friday night film salon.
The Mechanics’ Institute building houses the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States. Many World Champions and other top players have visited the chess room from Emanuel Lasker to Wesley So. Grandmasters Sam Shankland and Daniel Naroditsky, who learned the game at the Mechanics’ Institute as youngsters, represented the United States in the 2015 World Chess Team Championship.
Activities are offered for all levels of players from beginners to Grandmasters. Tournaments are the lifeblood of the Chess Room with weekend events and Tuesday Night Marathons the anchors.
Membership in the Mechanics’ Institute is open to the public. Membership offers the full services of the Library and Chess Room, along with free admittance or special member rates to special events, lectures, book discussion groups, classes, and other activities.
Events at the Mechanics’ Institute
By Betty Halbreich
Eighty-six-year-old Betty Halbreich is a true original, after nearly forty years as the legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, where she works with socialites, stars, and ordinary women off the street. Halbreich’s personal transformation from a cosseted young girl to a fearless truth teller is the greatest makeover of her career… Meticulous, impeccable, hardworking, elegant, and—most of all—delightfully funny, Halbreich’s memoir will appeal to those interested in fashion — and the subversion of fashion.
No registration required.
This series of centennial events sponsored by The Beat Museum held in San Francisco and Los Angeles offers a look back at Harold’s legacy as an unheralded voice in Beat poetry with panel discussions with writers and artists who knew him.
July/August 2016 – Hot Summer Nights
This diverting, lightweight romantic comedy boasts an unforgettable airborne production number and the first screen pairing of Astaire and Rogers.
Almost twenty years have passed since Anthony Galton disappeared, along with a suspiciously streetwise bride and several thousand dollars of his family’s fortune. Now Anthony’s mother wants him back and has hired Lew Archer to find him. What turns up is a headless skeleton, a boy who claims to be Galton’s son, and a con game whose stakes are so high that someone is still willing to kill for them. Devious and poetic, The Galton Case displays MacDonald at the pinnacle of his form.
content courtesy of the publisher