Sealed and hidden since shortly after the building was dedicated in 1960, the capsule was opened Wednesday.
During demolition of the former Jacksonville City Hall along East Bay Street, a time capsule was discovered in a cavity behind the building’s cornerstone.
Sealed and hidden since shortly after the building was dedicated in 1960, the capsule was opened Wednesday by Mayor Lenny Curry and City Council President Aaron Bowman during a ceremony at City Hall.
“This is a gem from preconsolidation,” Curry said.
After breaking the seal on the capsule, Curry and Bowman removed a collection of documents, along with a reel of magnetic audiotape and — a pack of cigarettes, Pall Mall without filters.
“It was a different time then,” Curry said as the cigarettes were displayed.
The capsule contained copies of newspapers, photographs of city dignitaries and several city reports.
“It’s in much better shape than I expected,” Bowman said of the contents.
Curry summarized a letter addressed to “the mayor who opens this time capsule,” placed inside 58 years ago by Mayor-Commissioner Haydon Burns.
The letter recounted Jacksonville’s growth and accolades up to 1960 and concluded, “we hope that you will reflect favorably on the efforts,” Curry said.
The artifacts will be preserved by the Jacksonville Public Library in its Special Collections Department.