Mechanics' institute


Opened as a tuition-free day school in 1820 in New York City by the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen for the children of its members, it was a forerunner of the public school system. With the advent of the public school system and meeting the need of educating persons in the building and construction industries, it received the name Mechanics' Institute in 1858. The curriculum includes Construction Documents, Design, Electrical Technology, Historic Preservation, Plumbing Design, Project Management, and Facilities Management. The Institute remains tuition free, and, with more than 180,000 alumni, is now the oldest privately endowed technical school in New York City. Among the alumni are Arthur Saaf and Walter Steinhilber, who combined practical skills with fine art. Source:; AskART biographies