Work on Huntington Park and the new plaza near City Hall is nearly complete. Avista has been partnering with the city on the project (and is footing the bill for the renovations) and, in one of the last steps before the area is unveiled May 2, buried a time capsule there Monday.
News to you? Us too. And apparently to the Spokane City Council as well. In an awkward exchange at a committee meeting Monday, councilmembers heard about the time capsule for the first time, after it was already buried. That’s because this time capsule, unlike some others in Spokane’s past (more on that later), wasn’t the work of city officials but of the contractor who’s been working on the renovations in that area, according to City Spokesman Brian Coddington. There was no public process in selecting what went in the time capsule and no city officials were invited to the burying. That’s partially because it was done in a quick, “very informal” process, Coddington says, and partially to keep the secret of where it’s buried to avoid vandalism.
Then again, maybe that’s all for the best. If you watch NBC’s Parks and Recreation, you know time capsules can bring out the worst in all of us. (Just wait for 1:11)
Still, Spokane is no stranger to burying stuff in the ground for the future. The city took suggestions back in 2005 for a time capsule to be buried near the Monroe Street Bridge. In 2006, city workers opened a time capsule placed behind a wall in the Chase Gallery in 1981 and found items like a phone book and a Washington State University football program. The city then replaced those things with children’s art, a mechanical parking meter head and other items and reburied it for another 25 years.
Here’s what this latest capsule included, aiming to cover “environment, culture, species, industry and technology,” Coddington says:
Lilac Festival commemorative Pin
WWP Outage Kit instructions (historic)
Avista 125th anniversary Commemorative Book
WWP 100th anniversary commemorative Book
Pictures from Stevens Elementary students showing how they use energy
Invitation to Huntington Park Groundbreaking
Avista Corp. Annual Report for 2013
Expo 74 Gala Celebration and Gala collaterals
Avista monthly Bill for Lisa Lee
Spokesman Review and Avista commemorative insert – March 13, 2014 (anniversary date)
Inlander – April 17*
LED Light bulb
Solar Power Grasshopper — toy
Avista 125th anniversary commemorative pin
Visit Spokane Promotional Materials for the region
2014 Bloomsday Finisher’s T-Shirt
Huntington Park Plans
Valley Chamber Membership Certificate — Avista
Cowgirl Chocolate: Moscow, Idaho
Fairchild commemorative Pin
Mayoral Coin (Spokane)
Expo 74 Coin
Letter from Mayor Condon**
Cheney Free Press Paper
*As you can see in the photo, it was last week’s Green Issue, which also included stories about marijuana policy, Gail Gerlach’s acquittal and some nostalgia over hand-painted signs and vinyl records. Enjoy it, the future!
**According to city staff, this was the same or similar to his 2014 State of the City address, which you can read here.
If it was up to you, what would you put in a time capsule for future Spokanites?