Sports Temples of Boston: Sports Temples of Boston: Images of Historic Ballparks, Arenas, and Statiums 1872-1972

Mechanics Hall

Back Bay, Massachusetts
1897

The Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association Building, popularly known as “Mechanics Hall” was built by the Association in 1881. Designed by the renowned architect William Gibbons Preston, the building had a facade of red brick and included a large turret with arched windows. Located on Huntington Avenue not far from Copley Square, and adjacent to the old Boston & Albany Railroad yards, the building’s vast auditorium served as a meeting hall and convention center. It was used for many other activities including indoor sporting events.

Although not primarily a sporting venue, track meets, wrestling matches and other popular sporting activities were held over the years in Mechanics Hall. Other events such as dog shows, flower shows, and sportsmen shows were also well attended. Sadly, this sprawling Victorian structure was demolished in 1959 to make way for the Prudential Center.

Original drawings of Mechanics Hall are available for review at the Boston Public Library Fine Arts Department.

Sources:

  • “Mechanics Hall” in Boston A to Z by Thomas H. O’Connor, Harvard University Press, 2000.

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8 images found
Mechanic's Building, Huntington Avenue

1. Mechanic's Building, Huntington Avenue

Image number: 05_02_010092
Photographer: Stebbins, N. L. (Nathaniel Livermore), 1847-1922
Back Bay, Massachusetts (ca. 1900)

Exterior view of Mechanics Hall, looking west down Huntington Avenue. Boston & Albany Railroad yard visible to right of the building.

Interior of the Mechanics Building, showing the main auditorium and exhibition hall

2. Interior of the Mechanics Building, showing the main auditorium and exhibition hall

Image number: 05_02_010093
Back Bay, Massachusetts (ca. 1911)

Sportsman's Show Mechanic's Hall Boston, Mass.

3. Sportsman's Show Mechanic's Hall Boston, Mass.

Image number: 05_02_010595
Back Bay, Massachusetts (ca. 1905)

Hunting display at Sportsman's Show. Sign reads, "John Cushman. Moose Hunting, Specialty. Moose and deer heads mounted on log cabin decorated with snowshoes, paddles and other gear. Man stands next to display holding paddle and animal skin over his sho

Sportsman's Show Mechanic's Hall Boston, Mass.

4. Sportsman's Show Mechanic's Hall Boston, Mass.

Image number: 05_02_010596
Back Bay, Massachusetts (ca. 1905)

Two men seated in front of log cabin in display from New Brunswick, Canada. Log cabin is decorated with mounted moose and deer heads. An array of stuffed animals to the left. Man on left holds small stuffed and mounted animal.

Mechanics Building, Huntington Avenue

5. Mechanics Building, Huntington Avenue

Image number: 05_02_010652
Photographer: Abdalian, Leon H., 1884-1967
Back Bay, Massachusetts (1920)

View west down Huntington Avenue showing Mechanics Hall, the Boston & Albany Railroad Yard and the dome of the Christian Science Church in the background. Sign in foreground reads, "Sunning Restaurant, American-Chinese Food."

B'nai B'rith Circus, Mechanics Building

6. B'nai B'rith Circus, Mechanics Building

Image number: 05_02_010768
Back Bay, Massachusetts (1950)

Children seated around Circuses & shows ring watching elephants perform.

Plate 44 of the 1888 Atlas for the City of Boston, City Proper, showing Mechanics Hall

7. Plate 44 of the 1888 Atlas for the City of Boston, City Proper, showing Mechanics Hall

Image number: 05_02_011111
Cartographer: Bromley, George Washington
Cartographer: Bromley, Walter Scott
Back Bay, Massachusetts (1888)

Identified as Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association in upper left of plate. Bordered by Huntington Avenue, West Newton Street and the Boston & Albany Railroad Yard.

Huntington Avenue showing Mechanics Hall

8. Huntington Avenue showing Mechanics Hall

Image number: 05_02_011342
Back Bay, Massachusetts (1897)

Corner of West Newton Street, elevated cars and horses and carts on Huntington. To left apartment buildings with awnings.

 
 
8 images found

Sports Temples of Boston: Images of Historic Ballparks, Arenas and Stadiums, 1872-1972
has been made possible through a Library Services and Technology Act grant
administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.