The Old Mint is located at Fifth and Mission streets. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

The Old Mint is located at Fifth and Mission streets. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

California Historical Society will lead effort to restore SF’s Old Mint

Restoration of the Old U.S. Mint in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood will be spearheaded by the California Historical Society, city leaders announced Thursday.

The Old Mint, located at Fifth and Mission streets, is no longer open to the public, but last December the Office of Economic and Workforce Development announced an agreement with Activate SF to maintain and operate the building as a community meeting space and facility for events like San Francisco History Days, which was held there in early March.

Now, the Old Mint Restoration Project, led by the California Historical Society, will develop a broader reuse proposal for the site.

The effort, expected to take up to 18 months, will involve evaluating key aspects of potential reuse for the Mint, including the cost estimates of construction, a cultural viability study and developing a financing plan.

“San Francisco’s Old U.S. Mint represents an important piece of our history, and now it will continue to be an important piece of our city’s future,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement.

“The collaboration with the California Historical Society will ensure the Old Mint remains a historic and unique civic space that will benefit residents and visitors alike for years to come,” he said.

The Mint was built in 1874 and served as The City’s sole financial institution still standing following the 1906 earthquake and fire.

Last year, the Mint was named for the second time among the country’s 11 most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was first placed on the National Trust’s America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 1994.

Coins have not been minted there since the 1930s, but the site operated as a museum until 1994. It was sold to The City by the federal government in 2003 with the intent to rehabilitate the building to serve as the home of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, but that plan never materialized.1906 earthquakeCalifornia Historical SocietyOld MintPlanningSouth of MarketU.S. Mint

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