Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Time capsule sealed this week will help mark 100 years of the Space Needle in 2062

A time capsule that will remain untouched for the next 43 years was sealed Monday in the Space Needle.

A test pressing of Nirvana's album "Bleach" and a photo of Felix Hernandez's last appearance with the Mariners were among the last items added to it.

Dave Mandapat, who works for the Space Needle, donated his own baseball that was signed by Edgar Martinez when the Hall of Famer's jersey number was flown atop the needle to celebrate his induction earlier this year.

"I wanted to make sure that made it in, but I also wanted to make sure that 43 years from now that my 10-year-old son gets that baseball just in case I'm not around to give it to him myself," Mandapat said.

Mandapat said they're building a place for the time capsule to go so it doesn't get lost, like the last capsule that Seattle sealed in 1982. It was supposed to be opened in 2002, but construction workers stumbled upon it while renovating the Space Needle's observation deck two years ago. 

The Space Needle also held a contest for residents to submit their own unique items. Fay Blackburn submitted a damaged camera that tells the story of its owner, her husband Reid Blackburn, at an extraordinary moment in our region's past. He died while photographing the eruption of Mount St. Helens for The Columbian newspaper.

"They had him in a position that was safe — considered safe," Fay Blackburn said. "Of course we know what happened. It blasted laterally, and he was right in the path."

Fay Blackburn said it was hard to say goodbye to the camera. But she's happy to know that someone will see it and revisit the eruption when the capsule is opened again four decades from now.

"Maybe some little kid will get interested in the science behind the mountain's eruption, or the beauty of the rebirth, or pick up a camera and start taking some pictures," Blackburn said.

Reid Blackburn's equipment and more than 100 additional mementos of Seattle's past and present will be unveiled again in April 2062, as part of the Space Needle's 100th anniversary.

Rebekah Way is an on-call news host at KNKX. She began her career in public radio as a news intern at KNKX, where she's also worked as an interim producer and reporter. Rebekah holds a life-long passion for music and also works as a professional musician and educator in the Seattle area.