PORTLAND – What do newspapers, a phone book and a “ghetto blaster” have in common? No, they're not things that disappeared with the invention of smartphones and the internet; they were all found Friday morning in a time capsule buried beneath Pioneer Courthouse Square.
As the square celebrates its 30th anniversary, Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and members of the Oregon Historical Society presided over the opening of a time capsule buried in 1985.
The city of Portland earned a name for itself in the 1980s when the community rallied behind the idea of turning a downtown parking lot into a public plaza, now known as 'Portland’s living room.'
The capsule's contents were found in relatively good condition, according to Theresa Vetsch-Sandoval of Pioneer Courthouse Square Inc., the nonprofit that manages the square's operations. Some of the clothing items, however, showed the impact of “Portland’s penetrable liquid sunshine,” staff said.
Among the treasures unearthed Friday were:
- A property tax assessment for the square
- A price guide from Kienow's food stores
- A phone book from Pacific Northwest Bell
- A copy of the Oregonian, the Willamette Week, the Downtowner and the Oregon Journal
- A "Ghetto Blaster" radio
- A menu from Dan and Louis Oyster Bar
- A bottle of beer from Blitz-Weinhard's Brewery
- Some bottles of (now) vintage Oregon pinot noir
- A book of predictions of what will happen in Portland in 25 years
- Yearbooks from all the city high schools
Pioneer Courthouse Square Inc. is getting ready to bury a new time capsule scheduled to open on the square's 50th Anniversary in 2034. You can recommend items to bury by going to TheSquarePDX.org. Written submissions can submitted at the Oregon Historical Society, Portland’s Visitor Information Center or the Starbucks at the Square or mail it to Pioneer Courthouse Square Inc., 715 SW Morrison Street, Ste. 702, Portland, OR 97205.
Friday's capsule contained more than 50 items, a complete list can be found here. According to Vetsch-Sandoval, included among them were “popular outfits for young people.” So, you might want to get down there fast if you want to get your hands on a vintage Adidas track suit and some ultra thick gold chains.