A Pictorial Blog of Things I Make,
Items I Collect, Architecture I Love,
and Other Stuff

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time Capsules in New York City

Until the World Trade Center Transportation Hub opens in 2014, this stainless-steel sculpture constitutes the sole work by architect Santiago Calatrava in New York City--a time capsule at the west entrance to the American Museum of Natural History. Within its eight cavities--sealed 10 years ago--are a unicorn Beanie Baby, a Butt Blaster instruction manual, a pager, canceled checks, condoms and many other artifacts of our age.

Out in Queens, 50 feet below this hockey puck-like capstone in Flushing Meadows Park, are buried time supposedly corrosive- and leak-proof time capsules from both the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs.

The Queens capsules are scheduled to be uncorked in 6938 A.D. By contrast, the appointment to crack open the Calatrava capsule doesn't seem quite so far away: the year 3000. If predictions of global warming come true, they all three may be under several feet of water well before then.

On the walkway of  the Gotham Plaza entrance to the park is this mosaic, installed in 1998, that specifies the contents of the 1964 capsule: tranquilizers, plastic wrap, a recording of "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles, birth control pills and an electric toothbrush, among other future curios.

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