Aug. 16 2001
Vol. 20 No. 20

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    Time capsule unearthed

    Progress continues on the construction site for the new Interdivisional Research Building with the demolition of Whitman Hall, the Visual Sciences Building and Phemister Hall. Demolition of the old structures will be completed by mid-August, prior to excavation and laying foundations for the IRB. The University has contracted with DMD Services of Bensenville, Ill., a building demolition specialist. DMD uses a crunching machine that crushes the concrete and masonry into small pieces, a much quieter technique that generates less vibration than the traditional wrecking ball. The waste material will be recycled for use as fill under highways and as building backfill. During the initial preparations to demolish the Visual Sciences Building, a time capsule from 1947 was discovered in a cornerstone of the foundation. The capsule is a galvanized sheet metal box that appears to have been placed in the building during its construction by a representative of the building’s general contractor, S.N. Nielsen. A handwritten letter in the box is dated Dec. 22, 1947. Its author noted that those living in 1947 were “in perplexing times” and expressed hope that the times would be better when the cornerstone was opened. The only other item in the box was a complete edition of a Sunday Chicago Tribune dated Dec. 21, 1947.