The unearthing of a 100-year-old box in the wall of the Lincoln Hall gateway last month is thrilling to Melvyn Skvarla, a Facilities and Services planner and the university's campus historic preservation officer.
The capsule contained 13 cards with names on them – some business cards, some handwritten – along with a 1912 Lincoln wheat penny, an 1894 Indian head wheat penny and a tag with the name of the metalsmith who crafted the box.
Photo by Todd Hearn, Facilities and Services
"This was unexpected," Skvarla said of the 8-inch by 6-inch handmade copper box workers found inside the gateway's walls while rebuilding the structure. The gateway, located along Wright Street to the south and west of Lincoln Hall, was a gift from the Class of 1913 and completed in July of that year.
"Gateways were very popular in the 1870s through the 1920s, especially around quadrangles," Skvarla said.
The capsule contained 13 cards with names on them - some business cards, some handwritten - along with a 1912 Lincoln wheat penny, an 1894 Indian head wheat penny and a tag with the name of the metalsmith who crafted the box.
The original time capsule was replaced into the rebuilt gateway's wall Jan. 28. With it went a new plastic box that contained all the original items, plus additional ones, including a written history of the capsule, a 2014 penny, a 2014 Homecoming button, a photo CD of all the old and new items, and business cards with the names of those involved in assembling the 2015 box.
Because of the hand-signed cards and lack of other items, Skvarla guesses the insertion of the original time capsule was a last-minute addition to the gateway.
"Everyone wants to be remembered," he said, "and that's fun and interesting to see."