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Jackson Square to the French Market and Old Mint
Item 18 of 18

The Old U.S. Mint Building in New Orleans was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975 as the nation's most prominent of the first branch mints and illustrating the movement to decentralize the American monetary system. Built in 1835-38, the Old U.S. Mint is the only building in America to have served both as a United States and a Confederate Mint. In 1966 the building was transferred to the State of Louisiana through the Historic Surplus Property Program. Since 1981 the Old Mint Building has been part of the Louisiana State Museum Complex.


  • As it appears today
  • As it appeared in 1907
  • The Mint in the 1880s
  • An 1867 sketch of the Mint
  • Circa 1890s photo of the Mint
  • As it appeared in 1900
  • 1906 Postcard
  • 1963 Historic American Buildings Survey Photograph
  • 1963 Historic American Buildings Survey Photograph
  • Circa 1850s painting of the Mint
  • This photo from the Louisiana State Museum in the old U.S. Mint shows the original 1835 plans for the building by William Strickland. The Mint building retains this basic W-shaped design today.
  • A scale for weighing coinage used at the New Orleans Mint in the 19th century
  • A Confederate half-dollar struck at New Orleans in 1861
  • The basement of the old U.S. Mint contains artifacts and photographs from the era 1838–1909, and is the part of the museum devoted exclusively to the building's function in that capacity.

The Old U.S. Mint Building in New Orleans was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975 as the nation's most prominent of the first branch mints and illustrating the movement to decentralize the American monetary system. Constructed in red brick like most 19th century public buildings in the United States, the Greek Revival-style building was designed by architect William Strickland. Built 1835-38, the Old U.S. Mint is the only such building in America to have served both the United States and the Confederacy. When Louisiana seceded from the Union in 1861, state authorities seized the property and transferred it to the Confederate Army. The building was used both to mint Confederate currency and to house Confederate troops. Following the Civil War, minting of United States coins resumed and continued until 1909. From 1910 to 1932 the building was, variously, an assayer’s office, a public health service station, and offices of the Veterans Bureau. Under the direction of architects Diboll and Owen and altering the appearance as little as possible, in 1932 the building was transformed into a Federal prison. In 1943 the building was transferred to the Coast Guard which used it as a receiving depot and later as a supply depot. In 1966 the building was transferred to the State of Louisiana through the Historic Surplus Property Program.  Since 1981 the Old Mint Building has been part of the Louisiana State Museum Complex. Damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, after over two years of repairs and renovations the museum reopened in October 2007. Today's visitor finds a number of stunning permanent exhibits in the Old U.S. Min including the “New Orleans Jazz” exhibit featuring instruments played by significant jazz musicians, sheet music, and memorabilia chronicling the history of Jazz from its humble beginnings on the streets of New Orleans.

Bailey, Thomas A., David Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, 11th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 

Bowers, Q. David. The Official Red Book of Morgan Silver Dollars: A Complete History and Price Guide. Atlanta: Whitman Publishing, 2004. 

Evans, George Greenlief. Illustrated History of the United States Mint. Philadelphia: G. G. 

Irwin, David. Neoclassicism. London, UK: Phaidon, 1997. 

Lange, David. A History of the United States Mint and Its Coinage. New York: Whitman, 2005. 

Taxay, Don. The United States Mint and Coinage: An Illustrated History from 1776 to the Present. New York: Arco, 1966. 

Williams, Harry T. Huey Long. New York: Knopf, 1969. Reprint, Vintage, 1981. 

Wiley, Randy, Bill Bugert. The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars. DLRC Press, 1993. Out of print; viewable on-line.

Yeoman, R.S. The Official Red Book - A Guide Book of United States Coins 2008. Atlanta: Whitman Publishing, 2007. 



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