Facade of the Old U.S. Mint

photo by: Sanfranman59, Wikimedia Commons

11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Old U.S. Mint

  • Constructed: 1874
  • Location: San Francisco, CA

Built in 1874, the Old U.S. Mint in San Francisco is a National Historic Landmark and one of the very few downtown buildings to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire that devastated the city center. The "Granite Lady" remains a commanding presence just south of Market Street, an area that is being transformed by an unprecedented tech-fueled construction boom.

Despite the building's proud history, this is the Old Mint’s second stint on the National Trust’s America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list because its future is still uncertain. As one of the West's most significant historic buildings and a powerful reminder of San Francisco's boomtown legacy, a restored and reactivated Old U.S. Mint should be part of the legacy of the current economic boom. Instead, as glistening new construction rises all around, the Old Mint stands shuttered, deteriorating, and at risk of being forgotten.

“A survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, the Old Mint serves as a symbol of resilience and permanence in a city marked by rapid transformations.”

Stephanie Meeks

“A survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, the Old Mint serves as a symbol of resilience and permanence in a city marked by rapid transformations,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Situated at ground zero of a tech-fueled boom, the Old Mint has the potential to serve as a cultural linchpin connecting San Francisco’s rise as an economic powerhouse fueled by gold and silver to the city’s current role as global center of innovation.”

Currently, the public has no access to the Old U.S. Mint, which is owned by the City. There is strong public desire to restore the Old U.S. Mint as a cultural focal point with increased public interaction in and around the space.

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