Mint Plaza is a rare and historic San Francisco locale that provides an exciting place to live, work, dine, enjoy arts and entertainment, and celebrate community. First and foremost, it is a welcome gathering spot – a green space to take a break, sit outdoors, have lunch, or chat with a friend. The Plaza is also uniquely urban -- framed on three sides by beautifully restored historic architecture, including the adjacent U.S. Mint, which is being redeveloped by the San Francisco Historical Society as well as the National Register buildings of Mint Collection: 2 Mint Plaza, 6 Mint Plaza, 10 Mint Plaza, and 14 Mint Plaza. The Plaza is lined with cafés and restaurants, including Blue Bottle Café and 54 Mint offering both indoor and outdoor dining, and anchored by Mezzanine, a world-class music, entertainment and lifestyle venue located in a historic two-story warehouse.
The Plaza offers a diversity of art and music, free to the public, including People in Plazas’ noontime concert series, art and lighting installations, and the annual Central Market Arts Festival featuring a month of art, music and dance performances. Mint Plaza also features a daily gourmet food truck and Tulipan flower cart, offering local freshly cut blooms and custom arrangements.
Its design is thoughtful, and purposely simple. Key elements include sleek stone promenades and a dramatic steel arbor with flowering trumpet vines, a native oak tree, a grove of Ginkgos, soaring mast lights, an abundance of orange moveable chairs, integrated bench seating, and an innovative stormwater management system that captures runoff from the Plaza to feed two rain gardens and an underground infiltration system. By retaining stormwater on-site, the Plaza’s design reduces stress on the city’s combined sewer system during storms, helping to prevent overflow of untreated sewage into the Bay.
Since its completion in 2009, Mint Plaza is the proud recipient of multiple design awards, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Small Firms Great Projects 2008 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) NCC General Design 2010 Award, San Francisco Beautiful – 2010 Beautification Award, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2010 Smart Growth Civic Spaces Award, recognizing the Plaza’s sustainable design and best management practices.
Mint Plaza was consciously designed by CMG Landscape Architecture to accommodate a wide range of uses, including cafés, food trucks, public art, live music, and small festivals, while also providing a quiet and green refuge for neighboring residents and visitors to stop and relax.