Old Mint thrown lifeline by Historical Society

The California Historical Society will help lead a project to restore the U.S. Old Mint in downtown San Francisco, according to The City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The historical society was chosen as the project’s lead partner that, along with The City, will develop a comprehensive reuse proposal for the National Historic Landmark, located at 88 Fifth Street, according to OEWD officials.

The project could last up to 18 months, as the city and the CHS evaluate how to restore the 140-year-old structure into a publicly accessible cultural facility. Additionally, the partners will estimate costs, develop a cultural viability study as well as a financing plan for the project, OEWD officials said.

Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement:

“San Francisco’s Old Mint represents an important piece of our history, and now it will continue to be an important piece of our city’s future. … The collaboration with the CHS will ensure the Old Mint remains a historic and unique civic space that will benefit residents and visitors alike for years to come.”

CEO and executive director of the CHS Anthea Hartig said in a statement:

“There is a strong public desire to rediscover and experience the Old U.S. Mint. We are thrilled at the prospect of helping transform this historic treasure into a center of culture and learning for the people of San Francisco, and for everyone in the Golden State,” .

The Old Mint was first opened in 1874 as one of the official repositories for the country’s gold reserves. In 1934, the building held one-third of the nation’s supply of gold.

The 100,000 square-foot, three-story building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961, according to OEWD officials.