The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York was founded in 1785 by the skilled craftsman of the City. Today, this 225-year old organization continues to serve and improve the quality of life of the people of the City of New York through its educational, philanthropic and cultural programs including Mechanics Institute, The General Society Library, and The New York Center for Independent Publishing. In 1820, The General Society opened one of the city's first free schools as well as the Apprentices' Library. The school, which became the Mechanics Institute in 1858, continues to provide tuition-free evening instruction in trades-related education and provides a unique service to the Building and Construction Industry. The Institute is the oldest privately endowed technical school in New York City with more than 180,000 alumni. All Mechanics Institute instructors are masters in their trades or professions, working at their craft during daytime hours and teaching knowledge-driven classes at night. Their expertise gives the students first-hand instruction from qualified teachers with on-the-job experience. Also founded in 1820, The General Society Library is the second oldest in New York City. It serves the educational programs of The General Society, including Mechanics Institute and The New York Center for Independent Publishing. It also makes its extensive collections available to other institutions and the public. Our building at 20 West 44th Street is the fifth home of The General Society. The facade of the building is a New York City Landmark. The Library's main reading room soars to a height of three stories and is topped by a magnificent skylight. The building was purchased in 1899 and expanded in 1903 through gifts from member Andrew Carnegie. The General Society is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization. The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since November 12, 2008.
The General Society is located at: 20 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036 firstname.lastname@example.org 212.840.1840