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Old San Francisco Mint to get European-style plaza


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A European-style plaza is emerging from gritty area of Old U.S. Mint


SAN FRANCISCO, Sunday, June 10, 2007


For years, the two alleys that border the Old U.S. Mint in downtown San Francisco were cautionary tales in urban planning as they gradually declined into seediness after the Mint museum closed its doors in 1994.


The little stub of Mint Street, and the block of Jessie Street that runs from Mint into Fifth Street near Mission Street, had nothing but potential. The reality, however, was grim. There were drugs, there were derelicts, there was public urination. The two little alleys were a big mess.


But now, the two streets are being reborn into something called Mint Plaza. Cars have been banned from a block of Jessie, and it will be transformed into a small plaza, like something in Europe, with restaurants, green trees, outdoor dining and a new atmosphere.




Provident is kind of a San Francisco classic, housed in a building faced in white terra-cotta at the corner of Mint and Mission. It had a cameo role in "The Maltese Falcon,'' Dashiell Hammett's famed detective novel.


The little alley complex around the 1874 Old Mint was once one of the brighter corners of Hammett's San Francisco. Hammett himself worked around the corner on Market Street and knew the little alleys well.


San Francisco Chronicle article



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