Mystery Safe Found Under Chicago Synagogue Stumps Locksmiths

Construction crews discovered a massive safe buried under the parking lot of a synagogue on Chicago's North Side, presenting a challenge to locksmiths and a mystery as to what's inside.

The safe was found under the parking lot of Anshe Emet Synagogue, located in the 3700 block of North Broadway Street in the city's Lake View East neighborhood.

Construction workers at the scene said the safe weighed approximately 3,000 pounds and was found by plumbers who were digging in the area. 

The synagogue posted a video of a locksmith unsuccessfully attempting to open the safe on June 26, saying it was "the largest the locksmith has ever seen."

Two updates to the video's caption reveal that the synagogue had not "found the right safe-cracker, yet" but promised more details to come.

The synagogue later said in a statement it has "no plans to open the safe in the near future." 

"We are thrilled to have uncovered a potentially exciting piece of Chicago history. We are exploring the opportunities that this discovery presents, but we have no plans to open the safe in the near future," the statement Wednesday read. 

The story of the safe made its way to Twitter on Wednesday, when one user issued a callout for anyone who might have ideas about "what it might be" or who may be able to open it.

One eagle-eyed reply came from someone who noted that a glass manufacturer and shipping company, as well as a car park, were once at that location. Another reply identified it as "an old (and very battered!) Ely Norris" cannonball safe, though that was not definitively confirmed.

Locksmiths said the safe could date back as far as 100 years, which could make it difficult to open.

The synagogue said it didn't yet know where it would keep the safe, which sat covered by a tarp in a construction site Wednesday afternoon. 

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