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This Week’s Letters (10/11/07)

From the Oct. 11 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

Q. The ANA has canceled a $20 million museum project in Washington, D.C. Should the less expensive San Francisco museum project  be canceled as well?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper:

The San Francisco Museum project should be kept if ANA can raise funding for the project.

Because it would go into an existing, staffed, facility (the Old San Francisco Mint museum), the staffing and facility costs are substantially less than the Washington DC facility.  The Old Mint will be a natural draw for those interested in coins or coin collecting, so it would be an excellent venue for the ANA to publicize itself and bring in new members.

Joel Anderson
Grover Beach, Calif.


I assume you are talking about the restoration of the old U.S. Mint. I have no idea what the ANA had in mind in Washington DC. I also don?t know how they fit into what has been done so far by other forces in the SF Mint restoration.

I would say any help the ANA could bring to achieving the restoration of the mint would be very smart. There is an historical perspective here that is reiterated on every coin you see with the ?S? mintmark.

Ludy E. Langer
Sacramento, Calif.


Good question, easy answer: As with many (all?) of our recent federal building projects, I believe the actual Mint building (Colfax Street) needs and deserves the bulk of the appropriations. Museums and tourist centers serve as distractions to keep the public away from the authentic history to which we hope to connect.

Charles K. Miller
Havertown, Penn.


I think instead of the ANA giving millions of dollars for a new San Francisco Mint Museum they might think of loaning the City of San Francisco the money, interest free, and be paid back with the profits from the Museum.

Rick Snow
San Lorenzo, Calif.


ANA should cancel in DC but build the museum in San Francisco.

Edward Majzlik
Dearborn, Mich.


YES.

It should be in Carson City, NV.

Because of the strange and wicked lifestyles in San Francisco me and my family would never go there, even to see the museum.

Dan White
Pahrump, Nev.


Not being well versed on these East Coast/West Coast Museum Projects… I find it sad that there couldn?t be further expansion of the project on East Coast but I understand the unstable aura of the Financial situation to everyone. Having said that, and at the same time, acknowledging the Numismatic World has steadily made huge advances with the interest of the Public… It would seem a shame not to advance with one of the Projects. And maintain that growing expansion. I say keep the Western Project going.
Have we not already contributed a good amount of this cost thru the purchase of the Commemorative San Francisco Mint Coins?

Thank you.

Respectfully,

Ken Miers
Esperance, N.Y.


If ANA can secure ALL the necessary funding plus the funding for annual operations of the museum without borrowing FROM ANY SOURCE, then build the museum.  If any of above things can?t be done within  the designated time specified,  then it should be canceled.

Don Young
Harrodsburg, Ky.


I think the two museums should be canceled.

Mike Crabb
Memphis, Tenn.


Yes the project should be cancelled.

Richard Lelivelt
Sierra Vista, Ariz.


I learned with dismay that the ANA has decided to not pursue a museum in Washington, D.C. I hope that the same fate will not happen to the project to bring ANA numismatic exhibits to the Granite Lady.

The Old Mint in  San Francisco represents an opportunity to present our hobby to significantly more people than any other venue the ANA has. More than the magazines, more than Summer Seminar, even more than the two national coin shows. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit San Francisco every year.

The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society plans a first class City history museum. This museum will be a natural starting point for many of these tourists.

Perhaps as important, local history is part of the California elementary school curricula and there are sure to be field trips to the museum every week. However, the Museum and Historical Society will tell a  story about San Francisco of which numismatics is only a small part.

The offer to the ANA to have separate space and exhibits is a unique opportunity to promote our hobby to the general public that will not happen again. Once the building is built out, it would be difficult to change. We cannot allow ourselves to miss this chance.

I strongly urge the ANA Board of Governors to reaffirm their committment to the Granite Lady project. I also ask that the Board engage the greater San Francisco Bay Area numismatic community in implementing the project. They will find a vibrant commmunity that is extremely motivated to ensure that Numismatics continues to remain a part of this important building.

Sincerely,
Michael Wehner
San Francisco, Calif.
President, Pacific Coast Numismatic Society
President, San Francisco Coin Club

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