1920s Time Capsule Found in Historic Chicago Building

A landmark building in the Loop reveals a surprise during reconstruction

By Katy Wolpoff
|  Monday, Apr 16, 2012  |  Updated 10:04 AM CDT
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1920s Time Capsule Found in Historic Chicago Building

Oh, how things have changed in Chicago since the 1920's.

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What were the Roaring Twenties like in Chicago? Developers recently got a glimpse when they found a 1920s time capsule during construction of the new Randolph Tower City Apartments in the Loop.

The building, located at 188 W. Randolph, was formerly known as the Steuben Club. It was first constructed in 1929 and once was a famous site for the powerful and influential. 

Recently while a contractor removed granite from the corner column of the building at Wells and Randolph, a copper box was discovered behind the layer around the column, the developer said Wednesday.

The contractor initially thought the capsule was part of the building's electric system, but after an electrician examined it, the Randolph Tower Development Company, LLC, decided to open it.

The staff uncovered historical pieces left behind.

They found two 1928 newspapers, one from the Chicago American with the headline, “Florida Swept by Hurricane” and the other a Chicago Evening Post reading, “Cubs Trample Braves; Sox Lose.” The capsule also included a copy of The Progressive Magazine” and an American flag with 48 stars, among other things.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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