March 10, 2016

Prudential Tower Time Capsule

The Prudential Tower is the second tallest building in Boston standing at 748 feet. The building was constructed over an old rail yard and the Massachusetts Turnpike during the 1960s. It cost the Prudential Company $150 million to build. (In today’s dollars it would be $1,128,171,428.57.)

The Prudential Center grand opening was held during Patriots Day weekend in 1965 (April 17-19). It was the first time that New Englanders would be able to go into the tallest building outside of New York city. According to news reports at the time, about 35,000 people came to the celebration.

As part of the grand opening celebration a time capsule was sealed in the north lobby of the Prudential Tower. The time capsule was sealed by British Consul General John N. O. Curle, O.V.S, and Prudential Senior Vice President Thomas Allsopp, with the help of construction workers Archie Langham, Charlie Ablondai, and Brian O’Rourke. The time capsule was sealed at 10 a.m on April 19th, 1965.

The time capsule was to be open ten years later - April 19, 1975. Which is the 200 anniversary of the famous Paul Revere Ride and the 100 anniversary of the Prudential Company. The time capsule was protected by a 350-pound bronze plaque displaying an actual piece of the Rock of Gibraltar.

The time capsule contained microfilmed pages from more than 200 New England newspapers, audiotapes of radio and TV editorial forecasts and editorial relating to Boston 1975. There were letters from by authorities in government, education, the arts, and sciences. In addition, there was a brochure of The Prudential Center as well other items from the opening weekend.

Boston Time CapsuleA picture of the contents of time capsule was posted on insuringthecity.wordpress.com website.

There is no indication of what happened at the Prudential Center on April 19, 1975. There’s nothing to suggest that the time capsule was actually removed and opened. I checked various media sources and verified that there is no mention of that particular time capsule after April 1965.

What has become of the time capsule and the contents? I still don't know, I am still investigating. If I can get a copy of the audio recordings, I'll be sure to play it with my readers.

Some additional information that I found:

Patriots Day and Easter fell on the same weekend in 1965. That will happen again in 2017.

On April 19, 1965, Gordon Moore published the famous article "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits” in Electronics magazine. Moore projected that over the next ten years the number of components per chip would double every 12 months. By 1975, he turned out to be right, and the doubling became immortalized as Moore's law.

More than 60,000 people per day visit Prudential Center, making it one of the most popular places to visit in Boston.

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