Space Needle Time Capsule Opened 15 Years Late

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November 20, 2017

New construction has found a forgotten glimpse of times past.

Forgotten Time CapsuleBuilding workers at Seattle's Space Needle unearthed a time capsule buried in 1982 and intended to be opened in 2002. On the outside of the capsule was a drawing of the tower done by architect John Graham, the building's designer; also on the outside was written, in flowery handwriting, "Time Capsule to be opened April 21, 2002." The writing was done by the wife of Rod Kauffman, who was operations manager at the Space Needle in 1982. The two originally met on one of the building's elevators.

Kauffman was on hand for the opening of the capsule, 15 years late. Inside were familiar items like letters, postcards, and photographs from the year the capsule was buried, 1982. Also included in the heavy metal box were things dated further back, to 1962, when the Space Needle opened, as part of the World's Fair: a menu from the restaurant Top of the Needle and an old audio tape of a 20th anniversary broadcast. 

Among the finds that impressed observers most was the master key to all the Space Needle's locks.

Construction workers found the time capsule while completing a $100 million renovation of the Space Needle's restaurant and observation deck. The capsule was close to the doors of a main elevator, hidden behind a plaster encasement.

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