The Historical Society acknowledges and respects the Darug and Gundungurra People, the Traditional Custodians of the area.

Mechanics Institute Chronological History


1896 -The Lawson Mechanics Institute was founded as a local literary group.

1899 In February, Lot 17 of Section 1 of the Village of Lawson was set aside by the State Government under the School of Arts Act and dedicated as the site for a Mechanic's Institute.

1899- A temporary timber building was erected on the site by the Lawson Literary Society.


1903 - A more substantial masonry building was erected on the site in at a cost of Four Hundred Pounds. Bricks for the building were re-used from the earlier Lawson Railway Station platform. Architect, Mr A. Stephens, Builder, Mr W.J. Knight

The new building was opened 18th December 1903 by Mr T.R. Smith MLA.

1906 a new caretaker's room and dressing room were added at the rear of the hall.

1907 the new Blue Mountain's Shire Council took over the building temporarily.

1909 the stage was enlarged and wings were added and moving pictures were first exhibited at the hall by a travelling show.

1911 the name of the Institution was changed to the Lawson Literary Institute.


1912 Skating was adopted as a regular activity at the hall.

1914 Acetylene Gas lighting was installed replacing oil lamps.

1931 Electricity was laid on to the hall.

1932 the community sought assistance for the running and maintenance of the hall from the Shire Council but received a loan instead to renovate the facilities.

1939 an office was added to the building.

1958 the trusteeship of the site was transferred to the City of the Blue Mountains with a provision for the resumption of land for Road Widening and a stipulation for ownership reverting to the Crown on the cessation of the terms of the original grant.

1989 the frontage was resumed by the Department of Main Roads (RTA) for the widening of the Great Western Highway.


1990 the place was modified and became known as the Mid Mountains Youth Centre.

1991 a new Community Centre was erected elsewhere in Lawson with the proceeds from the sale of the land to the RT A.

1992 a proposal to demolish the front half of the building and reconstruct a matching fa<fade on the truncated building was proposed.

1994 further conocerns regarding the future of the place were confirmed when a timeframe of 10 years was given by the RT A for the proposed road widening programme.

2002 the Mechanics Institute Hall was identified as having Local heritage significance in the Blue Mountains Heritage Study.

2003 a building assessment report was commissioned by Council to determine feasibility for options for the Community Centre.

2004 finalisation of the reports and plans for the proposed road widening requires a definite decision on options for the future of the site must be made prior to November.

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