Pelosi: ‘The Granite Lady Has Stood by San Francisco, Today We Stand By Her’

Oct 27, 2006
Press Release

Pelosi: ‘The Granite Lady Has Stood by San Francisco, Today We Stand By Her’

Friday, October 27, 2006

Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616

San Francisco â€" House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Senator Dianne Feinstein and local officials this morning at the United States Mint at San Francisco to celebrate the Old San Francisco Mint and the release of the Old San Francisco Mint Commemorative Coins. Below are Pelosi’s remarks as prepared:

“In 2004, our Old Mint was listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s 11 most endangered landmarks. We are here today to say that the Old Mint is endangered no longer. Because of the commemorative coin we are striking today, we will soon visit a quite different Old Mint: a new museum that represents the rich diversity of our city, while honoring the rich history of our ‘Granite Lady.’

“In 1869, the final cornerstone of the Old Mint was laid, to house the gold and silver that poured from Nevada’s Comstock Lode. This April, we joined together to remember the bravery and resiliency of San Francisco as we commemorated the centennial of the 1906 earthquake. One hundred years ago, as much of our city crumbled in the devastating earthquake and fire, the Granite Lady stood strong. Treasury Department employees worked with the United States Army, and only one hose connected to two wells on the property, to save this building and the $200 million in gold that was stored in its vaults.

“In the following years, the Old Mint housed the Treasury Department and a museum. But unfortunately, she was ultimately neglected and forlorn. It is because of the persistent efforts of those here today, including my friend Bob Mendelsohn, that we can begin to restore her strength and magnificence. The Granite Lady has stood by San Francisco throughout our entire history. Today, we stand by her. Today marks the start of a bright new future for the Old Mint.

“I am proud to have joined so many others to help make this day possible. Working closely with Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer, we introduced legislation to issue these coins. Unfortunately, Senator Boxer is unable to join us today, but extends her best wishes for the future of our Old Mint. It was her diligent and unrelenting efforts every step of the way, rallying support in the Senate, that ensured this bill passed.

“In the House, the leadership of Congressman Tom Lantos and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo was instrumental in the creation of a broad and bipartisan group of our colleagues that supported this significant legislation, including, I am proud to say, every single House Democrat.

“Along with history comes a sacred responsibility to preserve and protect it for future generations. Just as the Old Mint’s vaults protected millions of dollars in government gold, the museum will help preserve San Francisco’s rich history for future generations of San Franciscans and visitors from throughout the world to our beloved City.

“San Francisco deserves a museum that pays fitting tribute to its rich past, and the Old Mint deserves a purpose that restores it to its original beauty, and honors its role in our city. Today begins a bright new future for our Granite Lady.”