Lecture tells of Carson City Mint’s architect and architecture

CARSON CITY, Nevada – The U.S. Mint Building in Carson City is one of the city’s most recognizable, enduring and beloved structures.

Those adjectives likely would not apply to Alfred B. Mullett, the man who designed the building, now home to the Nevada State Museum, 150 years ago – especially “beloved.”

From 1866 to 1874, the British-born Mullett served as the supervising architect for the U.S. Treasury Department, the agency in charge of designing government buildings. That included structures ranging from posts offices and court houses around the country to a pair of U.S. Branch Mints – Carson City and San Francisco.

He earned a reputation as a micromanaging authoritarian with an explosive temper and the New York Sun described him as “the most arrogant, pretentious and preposterous little humbug in the United States.”

On Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m., Nevada State Museum director Myron Freedman will give a lecture on Mullett and the architecture of the Mint Building as part of the Museum’s months-long Mint150 celebration. The day will also include behind-the-scenes tours of the Mint building at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and demonstrations of Coin Press No. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The activities are all included in regular admission prices of $8 for adults; free for museum members and children 17 and younger.

The Mint150 program will be highlighted Feb. 4 with an all-day event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the date the Carson City Mint issued its first coin in 1870. The celebration includes a visit from David Ryder, Director of the U.S. Mint; the first strike of a new sesquicentennial medallion; the cutting of a sesquicentennial cake and an evening cocktail reception fundraiser at the Governor’s Mansion.

Those interested in the event can get details at mint150.com.

The Carson City Mint Sesquicentennial celebration is supported by the Nevada Mining Association, Travel Nevada, Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority and Coeur Rochester, Inc.