In 2054, someone will dig a hole in the Sugar House Monument Plaza and unearth a buried treasure. Not gold or silver, but a steel box placed there in June 2015 to mark the grand opening of the newly-remodeled plaza.
The time capsule will hold documents and artifacts that tell stories about the area’s colorful history. Hundreds of still photos, videos and oral histories from successive generations of residents will be stored on DVDs. Along with pictures and mementos from the last century, the box also will contain art, music, books, and symbolic artifacts of life in 2015.
In 2012, children at Salt Lake’s Hawthorne Elementary filled a time capsule to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of their school. They chose items of contemporary clothing, popular books and music, toys and school supplies, and even favorite snack items to represent their time in the historical continuum.
Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency commissioned CRSA Architecture to use a similar process to plan the new plaza. Bryce Ward says the design is based on the geological landforms and waterways of the Wasatch Front. The history of Sugar House and the art deco patterns on the monument influenced the artwork and furnishings of the plaza.
Hawthorne teacher Sheri Sohm said that a time capsule is a message from the present to the future to remind people that this is a special time and place. Just as the pyramids and the ancient temples in Greece are time capsules that tell us about a different era in human existence, what is hidden in the Sugar House time capsule will spark curiosity about this era, and add a bit of mystery to the Monument on the Plaza.