Saturday, February 25, 2012

Touring the Old Mint

Touring the Old Mint, which was built in the 1870s and at one time bore the scars of the Great Fire of 1906. The architecture was amazing; I've always wanted to see the inside of this building, but it is usually closed to the public.

On left, the girls inside a vault. On right, detail of one vault lock.

These used to be gas lamps and were replaced long ago with electric ones that simulated the look of the gas originals.

There is only one building in San Francisco with thicker brick walls (Ft. Point, built earlier yet). On right, the only minting machine left - this was a gold crusher (fake gold nuggets now, but originally the building was full floor to ceiling with gold bars and silver dollars).

On the left, my family locked in a vault! On the right, detail of a gorgeous room, once the central room where miners brought their gold nuggets to exchange for coins. Armed guards walked the balcony above while the exchanges were made below.

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