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A glimpse of the past: the Brooklyn Park time capsule

July 13, 2016 08:34 AM
photo of envelop containing 1976 Brooklyn Park City Council's predictions for the year 2000.
Time capsule item
© City of Brooklyn Park

For nearly four decades, a glimpse into an earlier Brooklyn Park laid undiscovered in the heart of our city. It was hidden, like most things unique, in plain sight where it would undoubtedly go overlooked. Lost among the public library’s mass of books was a time capsule.

It began in 1976, when the Brooklyn Park City Council and Mayor gathered a number of items descriptive of the era: pictures, a Tater Daze pin, the City song, and predictions for the year 2000, placing them all in a time capsule which was not to be opened until 2016.

Well, that time has come. On Thursday, May 26, upon the closing of the Brooklyn Park Library (the time capsules longtime home), it was revealed at a regular community engagement meeting in the City Council Chambers. As each item of the capsule was introduced, residents both young and old reminisced on the growth our city has endured.

“Oh, this is the old City Hall?” one resident asked as he was trying to make sense of a picture. “No kidding. It almost looks like the post office.”

Over the 40-year span since the inception of the time capsule, the city landscape has changed drastically. In fact, most residents in attendance had not lived in the city long enough to remember the year in which the time capsule was constructed. But, that didn’t stop them from enjoying themselves on a night full of surprises.

It seemed there was an energy about the room, a mixture of curiosity and expectancy, as the facilitator moved from object to object.

“The number of policemen they thought we would have is 30,” said one resident about an old councilman’s predictions.

The room erupted with laughter.

“[The City] was a lot smaller then,” added another resident.

Today, the story is quite different than 40 years ago. Brooklyn Park is the 6th biggest city in Minnesota, yet Gordy Aune Jr. believes we are heading in the right direction.

“We seem to have a small community feel in a big city,” said Aune. “I think that’s important.”
Although, it’s fun to revisit the past, it’s time to turn our attention to the future.

More information

See items from the time capsule




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