A crew assisting with demolishing a 115-year-old Seattle church to make way for affordable housing discovered a previously unknown time capsule hidden behind the cornerstone.
Earthwise Architectural Salvage, which was removing the stained glass windows and other valuable items from the German Evangelical Church before it was brought down in the Queen Anne neighborhood, said workers were surprised to find the metal box behind the cornerstone.
The building was constructed in 1906 and served as a church until the 1960s. In the 1970s, the building was renovated and used as a counseling center.
Aaron Blanchard, the director of operations at Earthwise, said it is rare to be surprised by a time capsule discovery, as such things are normally well-documented with instructions to be opened in 100 years.
“This church situation is unique because, usually, time capsules are tracked and archived but this building changed hands several times and it just wasn’t on anyone’s radar,” Blanchard told KING-TV.
The metal box contained items including German-language literature, publications like the Evangelical Messenger, newspapers from Ohio with articles about the Evangelical Association, a bishop’s handwritten letter detailing the founding of the church and a booklet of the group’s financial information.
“We reached out to several historical societies so that these items can be on display for generations to come,” Blanchard said.