The 100,000-square-foot, city-owned Old Mint building at 88 Fifth Street awaits a new future. According to sources, the city of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development has issued a request for proposals to find a partner that can “restore and activate the Old Mint.”
The Mint, also known affectionately as The Granite Lady, originally opened in 1874 to serve as one of the official repositories for the United States’ gold reserves until 1937. It is one of the few buildings that survived the great 1906 earthquake. In 1961, it was eventually named as a National Historic Landmark and in 2003, the federal government transferred the Old Mint to the city’s leadership.
Today, the city of San Francisco seeks a partner who has experience in developing and operating large-scale cultural programming or with managing cultural facilities. All respondents must submit proposals by February 3, after which a city advisory group will select a partner for the restoration project.
Participants on the advisory board include the building manager, real estate staff, City’s Arts Commission directors, War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, Grants for the Arts, History Center at the Public Library and the Planning Department’s preservation coordinator.
While the advisory board collect and review proposals, the city has selected Activate San Francisco Events, Inc., an event production and venue management company, to temporarily open the national historic landmark by hosting community programs and renting event space. There will be a “community open house” held March 4–6, 2016 and many hope to see live music or concerts at this historic site.
Activate SF has been involved with projects like Pier 70. Their partnership will help focus investment on the Mint Building while the city crafts long-term development plan for the building. Physical improvements will be made to the site, including new landscaping, exterior lighting, elevator updates, and daily maintenance.