What Would You Put In A Time Capsule To Capture What LA Was Like In 2019?
You've probably noticed the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial in downtown Los Angeles -- it's hard to miss. But did you know there was an over 60-year-old time capsule hidden in it?
Crews found it while they were working to restore the memorial. And now, the county is leaving another one for Angelenos of the future.
First, though, some background.
The memorial, which is on Hill Street between Chinatown and Grand Park, depicts a ceremonial flag being raised over what was then Fort Moore on July 4, 1847. It features a glazed terra cotta bas-relief mural, an 80-foot waterfall, an almost 70-foot tall pylon with a giant eagle, and a flagpole. It was dedicated in 1958. In 1977, the waterfall had to be shut off due to drought, and the rest had since fallen into disrepair.
The county first made moves to restore it in 2014.
And now, that process is complete. Over 100 people showed up on a hot July 3 morning to witness the rededication of the 61-year-old memorial, which is part of the county's civic art collection.
"This memorial is the latest in a long line of L.A. County cultural assets," Kristin Sakoda, executive director of the county's newly created Department of Arts and Culture, said at the rededication of the site. "It is our responsibility to tell stories from many points of view, considering inclusion when we think about civic artwork, and civic space."
In addition to the artwork being restored, the handrails, guardrails, walkways, stairs, and landscaping were also replaced, said L.A. County Public Works director Mark Pestrella. The electrical system and two pumps were also updated, and Pestrella said the whole thing would make use of reclaimed water.
But what does this all have to do with time capsules?
While restoring the memorial, crews found a time capsule from the original dedication in 1958. It included a manuscript describing the idea for the memorial in the first place, the dedication speech delivered by Supervisor John Anson Ford, and images documenting the memorial's construction, among other things.
With the rededication, county officials thought it appropriate to replace the unearthed 1958 time capsule with a 2019 version and place it in the base of the memorial's flag pole for future Angelenos to discover.
Supervisor Hilda Solis said at the rededication that she contributed her county pride pin, a challenge coin, and a photo of women in county leadership.
In a letter from L.A. County CEO Sachi Hamai, read by assistant CEO Fesia Davenport, Hamai wrote that she, too, included an image of the women leading the nation's most populous county -- including the four female members of the Board of Supervisors.
"Dear future residents of L.A. County, in 2019 women were a powerful force within Los Angeles County government, and as a female Chief Executive Officer I joined many accomplished women in leading the county," Hamai wrote. "... What does your leadership representation look like in 2119?"
The Department of Arts and Culture declined to provide an exhaustive list of the time capsule's contents, saying that they want at least some of it to be a surprise when the metal box is reopened in the future.
Still, here are some of the things Angelenos of the future will see:
A tiara and an invitation to local teen Mia Cardeña's quinceañera
Photos of a dog visiting local landmarks -- including Dodger Stadium and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Oh, and surfing.
Rose petals picked by a Korean American living in Los Feliz
A letter from an elementary school student, to the future
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