San Francisco Museum at the Mint
This old United States Mint in San Francisco was designed by Alfred B. Mullett and completed in 1874. The 102,000 square foot building, spanning four floors, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 for its importance as “the last major example of classical revival architecture” in the United States. The Mint embodies the resilient spirit of San Francisco, having survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. It played a pivotal role in the financial life of the country by serving as a repository for a third of the nation’s gold reserves until 1937.
Fifth Street at Mission Street in downtown San Francisco, near the Powell Street MUNI Station and BART.
$14 million raised in Phase One. Phase Two Capital Campaign underway.
The Museum Experience
The San Francisco Museum at the Mint will offer an exciting new learning environment that brings history and culture to life in a relevant, fun and engaging manner. Experiences at the Museum will explain, inspire, and teach, promoting conversation, inquiry and discovery.
Interactive Learning Centers
Visitors will have the opportunity to engage with Bay Area history through a wide range of interactive and participatory learning environments, including:
- Schools Center – a welcoming learning place in the museum for teachers and their students to enrich school curriculum.
- Storylab – a place where visitors create, curate, and collaborate on their own connections to Bay Area history.
- Prediction Theater – a facilitated, game-like scenario planning experience in which visitors explore potential visions of the future.
- Put Yourself in History – Experiences that integrate a smart phone platform, social network applications, interactive exhibit stations, and programs and publications to link personal and family histories with the history of the Bay Area.
Mix of Experiences
When restored, the unique mix of experiences at the Museum will include:
- Themed chronology of San Francisco Bay Area History
- San Francisco Visitors Information Center
- American Money and Gold Rush Experience
- Multiple Learning Centers
- Bay Area Cultural Retail
- Historic Event Rental Spaces
- Outdoor Landscaped Environments
Gateway to the Bay Area
The San Francisco Museum at the Mint will house a new Visitors Information Center that will offer customized travel-related multilingual information and advice. It will become a starting point for visitors, offering more than 100 historical and cultural threads from which visitors can choose as they create a personalized orientation to the region’s vast network of cultural institutions, historic sites, and landmarks.
The San Francisco Museum at the Mint will be a dynamic catalyst for economic activity, particularly in the Yerba Buena and Mid-Market Neighborhoods. The project is expected to inject close to $150 million of economic stimulus into the region creating 227 pre-construction jobs and another 729 jobs during construction. When completed, the Museum will draw more than 1 million people to downtown San Francisco each year, generating $46 million annually in new direct and indirect sales, plus 375 new direct and indirect jobs and estimated annual tax revenues of $836,000.
The San Francisco Museum at the Mint’s business model is demand-driven—built on four revenue centers designed to attract a dedicated customer base and also create synergies: Museum Admissions, 3rd party Event Rental, Dining, and Retail sales (in-store and on-line). Earned revenues will cover 85%+ of the annual operating expenses, significantly above the 20% - 50% range of traditional museums. Our operating goal is to be independent of a need for public funds, and to maximize endowment revenue and other annual funds raised towards community outreach and education.
- James Lazarus, President, San Francisco Museum and Historical Society
- Kurt Nystrom, Chief Operating Officer, San Francisco Museum and Historical Society
- Ira Michael Heyman, Advisor, Secretary Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution
- Petr Spurney, Business Model analyst, PETR Productions
- Architects: Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, San Francisco, CA, Paul Woolford, Senior Vice President and Design Principal
- Engineers: Arup Engineering, San Francisco, CA
- Landscape Architect: Hood Design, Oakland, CA, Walter Hood, Principal
- Historic Preservation: Page & Turnbull, San Francisco, CA, & Architectural Resources Group, San Francisco, CA
- Exhibit Designer: Christopher Chadbourne and Associates, Boston, MA, Christopher Chadbourne, Principal
The San Francisco Museum at the Mint aims to be one of the few museums in the world that achieves LEED Platinum certification and is operationally carbon neutral. Our commitment to sustainability will take advantage of the Mint’s inherent physical features (e.g. massive masonry walls, large smokestacks) and combine them with new and innovative technologies that will significantly reduce the building’s energy uses (e.g. water, heat, lighting, etc.). A prominent and historically significant structure, the restored Mint will demonstrate sustainable design in a public setting and create a precedent for existing buildings and other landmark structures.