Old San Francisco Mint has new lease on life
The old U.S. Mint building, located on 5th Street and Mission
Street, has been given a new lease on life - a 66 year lease to
the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.
By Emmett Berg, Bay City News Service
September 26, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The old U.S. Mint, which was commissioned
in the Gold Rush era and withstood the 1906 earthquake, was leased
today as part of a plan to create a San Francisco Museum and adjoining
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today unanimously agreed
to the terms of a 66 year, rent-free lease to the San Francisco
Museum and Historical Society.
Plans for the building include extensive restoration to allow
a 32,000-square foot museum space, a new location for the San
Francisco Visitors Center, and a variety of shops and restaurants
facing Jesse Street.
"This well-designed museum will add immeasurably to the
fabric of San Francisco, stay true to the historical integrity
of the building and blend 21st Century technology into its exhibits,"
said Erik Christoffersen, executive director of the society.
In a separate action, supervisors agreed to set a public meeting
for Oct. 3 in which officials will take public comment on a plan
to tax real estate owners near the Old Mint building in a bid
to finance construction of an 18,000-square foot Mint Plaza attracting
shoppers to the area.
The supervisors' blessing came with a stray remark from Supervisor
Aaron Peskin: "Good luck raising $38 million."
Peskin was referring to the remaining amount of money he said
was required to pay for the multi-faceted project.
Christoffersen said in a statement released by the society that
the lease allows the society to tap $2.8 million in Proposition
"We have more than $40 million committed to the project
and a series of initiatives are underway or will be launched this
fall to secure the remaining funds over the next 18 months,"
Christoffersen said. "We anticipate completion of the project
by Spring 2010."
One way the society is raising money is through sales of commemorative
$5 gold and $1 silver pieces that depict the Old Mint on the "heads"
side of the coins. If all 600,000 coins sell, the society will
take in $8.5 million.
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