There are books and periodicals detailing everything from sweeping social changes to municipal street sweeping schedules; essays offering the big-picture takeaway on the challenges of the 21st century, and take-out menus representing the city’s richly diverse smorgasbord of dining experiences.
There are souvenirs of Asbury Park’s celebrated tourism attractions and mementos of year-round living in the neighborhoods of this city of summers. There are official proclamations and communications from City Hall, and offerings from local students on their favorite activities and diversions.
All of the above serves to represent contemporary life in the 150th anniversary year of Asbury Park’s founding — and all of it is scheduled for rediscovery by a future generation of Asbury Parkers, following a special Time Capsule Dedication and Burial on the afternoon of Sun., Dec.19.
Scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Asbury Park Historical Society’s Stephen Crane House headquarters at 508 Fourth Ave., the public-welcome ceremony marks the culmination of a project designed to cap a busy Sesquicentennial Year of special events and activities. Here in an interlude that’s seen its share of challenges and sea-changes — from the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing effects of climate change to the local hot-button issues of gentrification, affordable housing, education, transportation, and shifting demographics — the idea is to present a portrait to the people of the city’s bicentennial year of 2071, of a vital community that came together to forge solutions, find its collective voice, and face toward a future that works to the benefit of all who made their home here.
In the words of Time Capsule Committee chair and Historical Society officer Susan Rosenberg, the project “belongs to all Asbury Park residents…past, present, and future.”
Rosenberg and her committee members — a group that also includes fellow APHS trustees and Asbury Park City Councilwoman Eileen Chapman, as well as Lisa Bovino and Elena Zazanis — selected from dozens of donated materials to create a carefully curated collection, much of which was then transferred to archival-grade media. The group, a subcommittee of the Asbury Park Sesquicentennial campaign chaired by Celia Morrissette, raised funds for professional quality, water-tight stainless steel container manufactured by Heritage Time Capsules of Buffalo, NY, as well as a custom plaque designed and installed by Beth and Pete Woolley of Monmouth County-based Peaceable Kingdom Monuments.
Volunteers are scheduled to handle the internment of the capsule, at an easily visible site in front of the concrete Mayfair Theatre wishing well that sits just off the front porch of the Crane House. Guests are set to include Mayor John Moor, who drafted a letter addressed to his future successor in office — and following the outdoor ceremony, attendees are invited to enjoy Asbury Park 150th Birthday Cake and other seasonal refreshments, during a reception inside the Crane House.
Sealed beneath the cement and marked with its plaque, the capsule, and its contents will occupy their appointed berth for the next half-century, there on a property that has safely and successfully navigated its way through every epic storm, economic upheaval, and major current event of the past 143 years. From there, it’s up to the people of Asbury Park 2071 to retrieve the buried capsule on schedule — and, in the process,
discover some intriguing things about the lives of the people who crafted this snapshot of a revitalized, re-energized, ever-fascinating city, way back in 2021.
Reservations are not necessary to attend the outdoor portion of the Time Capsule ceremony on Dec. 19, while masks and proof of vaccine or negative Covid test are requested for the indoor reception. Monitor the Asbury Park Historical Society website and social media for updates in the event of adverse weather conditions, and direct additional questions to Susan Rosenberg at email@example.com.