As a piece of architecture, Alfred Mullet's 1874 classicaly-inspired building is a beaut. It's one of the last best examples of the wave of neo-classicism that swept the nation in the 19th century, and a building that at one time held a third of the US's gold reserves. Not only did it escape largely unscathed during the devastating 1906 earthquake (how rarely surviving catastrophe is suggested as a "sustainable" element of a building), but the team working on the building now aims to put it at the vanguard of green design.
I chatted with Paul Woolford, lead architect on the project and design director of HOK San Francisco about what he and his team aim to do at the Old Mint, and how preserving the buidling itself, letting it do what it was designed to, ends up looking like the greenest stragegy of all.
Click here to view a slideshow of the building itself as well as HOK's plans for greening the Granite Lady, or check out this very fine story from SF Chronicle architecture critic and Dwell-contributor John King on the buidling.
Aaron writes the men's style column "The Pocket Square" for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for the New York Times, the Times Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic and others.