115-year-old time capsule discovered in Seattle church before it was demolished

A former church in Seattle that was demolished to make way for affordable housing housed some historical relics.

SEATTLE – A time capsule was discovered after it was hidden in a church in Seattle 115 years ago.

The German Evangelical Church was founded in 1891 in the Queen Anne district. In 1906 the building was replaced by the so-called “Evangelical Auditorium”.

It was a church until the 1960s. It was mostly empty until the 1970s when it was renovated and used as an advice center.

The building was demolished to make way for affordable Seattle housing. Fortunately, Earthwise Architectural Salvage saved the historic stained glass and many other interior designs. The discovery of the hidden time capsule was an exciting find and a first of its kind for the rescue team.

Aaron Blanchard, the operations manager at Earthwise, said many older government buildings and churches would contain some sort of time capsule behind their corner stone during construction. The tradition is to extract the capsule after 100 years and celebrate it with a ceremony.

“This church situation is unique in that time capsules are usually tracked and archived, but this building has changed hands several times and it just wasn’t on the radar,” said Blanchard.

While removing the corner stone, they discovered a metal box that had been sealed for 115 years.

The time capsule contained mostly literature from 1906, much of it in German. Publications such as the Evangelical Messenger were added. Several newspapers come from Cleveland, Ohio, where the Evangelical Association is headquartered. A handwritten letter signed by a bishop describes the organization of the Church, and a financial information brochure contains church donations from Seattle leaders.

Earthwise spent two weeks rescuing items from the now demolished church. The time capsule is a valuable possession that Blanchard said they would never sell.

“We reached out to several historical societies so that these items could be displayed for future generations,” said Blanchard.

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