Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seattle's Time Capsules, Part 1

Location: Alki Beach
Occasion: Centennial of Seattle's first non-native settlement
Sealed: 1951
To Be Opened: 2051
This capsule was buried under an obelisk marking the "birthplace of Seattle," where the pioneering Denny party first came ashore. It weighs 720 pounds, though its only artifact I know of is a Boeing bomber model. The following year, another capsule was buried beside it, containing Hawaiian shirts, playing cards, and a document predicting what Seattle life would be like in 2052. Here is a photo before it was buried; read more here and here.

Location: Alki Beach
Occasion: unknown
Sealed: 2009
To Be Opened: 2059
Two blocks northeast of the above capsule is this one, buried under the sidewalk near the 1/8th-scale Statue of Liberty. Contents listed here; read more here and here.

Location: University of Washington Communications Building
Occasion: Opening of the building
Sealed: 1956
Opened: 2007
Much to the surprise of the faculty who opened it in '07, among the 1950s newspapers, photos and textbooks were 1980s copies of Playboy, Hustler, and "two pairs of stained men's briefs." The capsule, stuck in the wall next to The Daily student paper's office, was apparently sabotaged by some smartass journalism students in the early '80s. They also threw in an issue of The Rocket (with cover star Ted Nugent), I'm Okay, You're Okay, Twinkies, a condom, and, for whatever reason, an unopened letter to Linda Ronstadt. Daily staffers at the time included local luminaries John Keister, Clark Humphrey and Charles R. Cross. In the September '07 issue of Columns, the UW alumni rag, Cross commented, "When I was at The Daily, there was no one person who was generally responsible for anything. No, this is not the work of one person, and not everyone who was involved in it wants to be identified." When asked if he'd forgot about it, he replied, "Oh no, it was on my calendar." Read more here.

Location: University of Washington Communications Building
Occasion: Centennial of the first UW journalism classes
Sealed: 2007
To Be Opened: 2057
This capsule replaced the one above, in the same spot, during the same year. Contents unknown, though considering the Nintendo logo, it's probably filled with Donkey Kong cartridges. Hopefully some future smartass journalism students will stealthily supplement it with futuristic pornography, and two pairs of stained men's briefs.

Location: Nordstrom
Occasion: Presumably Nordstrom's taking over of the Frederick & Nelson building as its downtown flagship store
Sealed: 1998
To Be Opened: 2023
I just happened to notice this one day while waiting for Eliza to try on shoes, or something. Contents unknown.

Location: Colman Dock
Occasion: 50th anniversary of Washington State Ferries
Sealed: 2001
To Be Opened: 2051
First set inside the case of the big old clock inside the ferry terminal, but when the clock was moved outside, this capsule was stuck under the information desk. Contents listed here; read more here.

Anybody know of any others?



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