Mexican Museum gets downtown home

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday¬†unanimously approved a lease in The City’s¬†Yerba Buena neighborhood for The Mexican Museum, expected to house more than 18,000 pieces of art and artifacts from across the Americas.

The Mexican Museum, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, will span 54,000 square feet and rise four stories high at the corner of Third and Mission streets, according to Andrew Kluger, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees.

Crews are expected to break ground at 706 Mission St. in July and are aiming to open their doors to the public in the spring of 2018, Kluger said. The 66-year lease approved by the board of supervisors today also includes an option to extend for another 33 years after that, according to Victoria Sanchez De Alba, a spokeswoman for The Mexican Museum.

Sanchez De Alba said that once the new museum opens, the much smaller Mexican Museum, currently housed at the Fort Mason Center, will close its doors. Kluger said he is excited that after 23 years, the museum is getting the public and private funding needed to get off the ground.

Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district houses the cultural institutions located in the Yerba Buena neighborhood, said The Mexican Museum will complete the city’s vision for Yerba Buena. She said the new museum will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood’s cultural offerings.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and other cultural institutions are all located within a couple blocks of where The Mexican Museum will be built. Supervisor David Campos said he is glad that decades of work to get this museum built are finally paying off.

Campos said the lease is a victory not only for the Mexican community, but all San Franciscans.