Monday, April 21, 2014

Site of First US Branch Mint -- April 21, 2014

The first United States Branch Mint in San Francisco opened in a building on Commercial Street near Montgomery in 1854.  The building was too small and operations moved to what is now known as the Old Mint at Fifth and Mission in 1874.  The current mint, on Duboce, went into operation in 1937. 

A new building on the Commercial Street site later served as the San Francisco branch of the United States Sub-treasury. 

I remember when a bank wanted to tear down the building to put up a skyscraper.  Somehow they were persuaded to save part of the façade of the sub-treasury and some of the vaults.  The building now houses the Pacific Heritage Museum, which has some displays about the mint and sub-treasury on the bottom floor.  The rest of the museum has rotating art exhibits. 

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