San Francisco Museum and Historical Society

Every world class city deserves to have an institution that preserves the city’s heritage for future generations. It is the mission of the Historical Society and the San Francisco Museum to document and promote the rich and diverse history of the City on the Bay. Towards this end, the museum regularly hosts events and programs such as the audio walking tour, Barbary Coast Trail, as well as the annual Standing Ovations celebration of the history and culture of San Francisco. Twice a year the SFMHS publishes The Argonaut as well as the quarterly magazine, Panorama which features articles and photographs of the city’s history. The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society are currently in the process of restoring the Old Mint landmark building at Fifth and Mission, to be the future home of the San Francisco Museum at the Mint. Funding for the project is still being secured with construction to commence soon.

Having survived the earthquake of 1906 and subsequent fires, the Old Mint was given its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Built in 1874, this gigantic, 102,000 square foot facility extends to four floors and at one time stored a third of the gold reserves of the United States. Old Mint walking tours are conducted at various times throughout the year so that visitors can learn about the history of the building as well as future plans for the museum’s home there. The building is also available to rent for private functions.

Some of the features planned for the future include a Visitors Information Center that will provide useful information in multiple languages. The Information Center will help visitors assemble their own customized tour of the city’s many cultural treasures using a linked network. The Historical Society will offer a good mix of interactive learning experiences including a Storylab that will allow people to create their own experiences and history in the Bay Area. There are also exhibits planned that will interact with smart phones and other social network applications, allowing visitors to put themselves in the city’s timeline of history.

For more information on the Old Mint, you can visit their website at or the Historical Society’s website at You can also call 415-775-1111 for more information.

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