Ann Arborites say 'hello to the future' in new time capsule

Jul 6, 2012

The Downtown Development Authority is getting ready to open the new Library Lane parking structure on Ann Arbor's South Fifth Ave. In the process, the group hopes to preserve a snapshot of the city's zeitgeist sealed beneath the structure's Division St. staircase.

DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay estimates that the time capsule will be reopened 100 to 200 years from now. She sees the project as a way in which all Ann Arborites can participate in the parking project.

"It's a chance to say 'hello' to people in the future," she said.

She says anyone offering meaningful contributions for the "trash can-sized" receptacle can stop by the DDA office with their memento. Some donations already encapsulated include writing samples from students at 826 Michigan, a pin and wooden coin from The Ark concert venue, a drawing from a young person at the library, and a Borders gift certificate. 

"In 100 to 200 years, these sorts of gift cards will be so ancient, they wont have any relevance," said Pollay.

The DDA will host a grand opening party at the new structure the evening of July 12 during which they ask attendees bring more keepsakes.

One Ann Arbor time capsule was extracted two years ago from the cornerstone of the old YMCA building during its demolition.  YMCA officials found newspapers, building plans and photographs from the 1950s.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom