Well, the rats have been cleaned out of the Old San Francisco Mint. No, these weren't disreputable people. Rather, they were real rats, according to a report datelined Feb. 18 from the San Francisco Chronicle by Anastasia Ustinova.
Ustinova quotes Erik Christoffersen, executive director of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, as noting that since the beginning of the Chinese Lunar Calendar's Year of the Rat, there have been no more rats spotted in the historic building at Fifth and Mission streets.
The Old Mint, famous for having survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, has now apparently withstood an invasion of furry four-footed creatures that have been entering the building through small holes.
The Chronicle notes that although the Old Mint has had rat problems for a number of years, more have moved in over the past year "after employees stopped using rat poison during some interior demolition work and a nearby vacant building was rehabilitated." Therefore, a team of professional exterminators was brought in to rid the facility of the unwanted guests.
Renovation of the Old Mint, which was built in 1874, is currently underway. Plans call for the structure to house a cultural museum, details of which are highlighted at www.themintproject.org.