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Street closure announced for new Mint Plaza

As part of the refurbishment of the old old U.S. Mint building,
located on the corner of 5th and Mission streets, the portion of Jessie Street between Mint and Fifth streets will be closed to auto traffic beginning Friday.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Matt Wynkoop

May 10, 2007

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced today that in preparation for the refurbishment of San Francisco's Old Mint building, the portion of Jessie Street between Mint and Fifth streets would be closed to all traffic beginning Friday.

According to Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch, the portion of Jessie Street to be closed will be rebuilt as a pedestrian-only space known as Mint Plaza.

The future site for San Francisco's newest public space is an 18,000 square foot, 290 by 54-foot-wide portion of Jessie Street that lies just south of Bay Area Rapid Transit's Powell Street station and the new Westfield San Francisco Centre.

The San Francisco-based developer planning to build the new plaza, Martin Building Company, reported that the plaza is being developed with room to accommodate art, theatre, live music, cafes and street fairs.

The plan to build the new Mint Plaza is part of a larger project to refurbish the Old Mint building at the corner of Fifth and Mission streets as a historic museum.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed on Sept. 26 to the terms of a 66-year, rent-free lease to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society to refurbish the Old Mint as a city museum, as well as plans to build the new Mint Plaza on the adjoining section of Jessie Street.

The Old Mint survived both the earthquake and fire of 1906, making the "Granite Lady'' the only financial institution in San Francisco operable as the treasury for disaster relief funds.

According to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society's Web site, the Old Mint -- which is one of only five San Francisco buildings designated as a National Historic Landmark -- is expected to be open to the public as a Gold Rush and money museum by 2011.

Lynch said that Mint Street between Mission and Jessie streets will continue to remain open to traffic, but will no longer provide a traffic connection to Jessie or Fifth streets around the Old Mint.

Muni's 26-Valencia motor coach terminal has also been relocated from just west of Fifth Street on Jessie Street to just south of Fifth Street on the south side of Mission Street, Lynch reported.

Construction on Mint Plaza is expected to begin sometime later this month, Lynch said.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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