The doors to the safe of Albany’s historic First National Bank have been saved as the building is being torn down. Now the big question is whether the cornerstone still contains the time capsule placed within it in 1912.
On Tuesday I stopped by the Albany Regional Museum, still in the middle of a big renovation of the exhibits and hoping to reopen to the public by the first of May. The executive director, Keith Lohse, showed me the safe doors, which had been donated to the museum.
Covered with protective blankets for now, the doors were leaning against a wall in a back room. This is a section of the museum without a basement, so there’s no danger the heavy objects will crash through the floor.
How heavy, you ask? This is something I neglected to find out.
As for the time capsule, the section of the bank building at the corner of First Avenue and Broadalbin Street was still standing, so the demolition crew had not yet had a chance to get at the cornerstone and crack it open. They’ve marked the location with paint, though, Lohse told me.
So if the time capsule is still there, no doubt it will turn up. The museum staff has researched the point and found no mention anywhere that the time capsule was taken out or opened. The only reference to it is an article in the Albany Weekly Democrat of Dec. 13, 1912.
The story said the sealed box was placed in a block of sandstone that formed the building’s cornerstone. Judging by the progress of the demolition, it won’t be long before the box is found. (hh)