Time capsule discovered at Downers Grove senior living community

  • During a renovation project at Oak Trace, workers from Walsh Construction Company find a sealed copper box that they immediately recognized as a time capsule.

    During a renovation project at Oak Trace, workers from Walsh Construction Company find a sealed copper box that they immediately recognized as a time capsule. Courtesy of Bridget Machalinski

 
 
Updated 11/30/2022 5:08 PM

It offered a glimpse into the past while anticipating an exciting future. A time capsule was recently discovered during remodeling work at Oak Trace. The senior living community in Downers Grove is undergoing a major redevelopment/renovation project.

Behind the building's 1994 cornerstone, workers from Walsh Construction Company recently found a sealed copper box that they immediately recognized as a time capsule. The decision was made to hold an event for Oak Trace residents to open and explore its contents.

 
A Walsh Construction Co. employee shows where the sealed copper time capsule was found during remodeling at Oak Trace senior living community in Downers Grove.
A Walsh Construction Co. employee shows where the sealed copper time capsule was found during remodeling at Oak Trace senior living community in Downers Grove. - Courtesy of Bridget Machalinski

The senior living community has a long, prestigious history in the greater Chicago area.

Founded by Swedish immigrants in the early 1900s in Chicago, it eventually relocated to Downers Grove in 1973 as Fairview Baptist Home and Fairview Village in 1994. In 2011, Lifespace Communities acquired what then became Oak Trace senior living community.

In 2019, the first phase in the redevelopment/renovation project was replacing the community's 1970s-era healthcare center with its new, upscale Health and Wellness Center, including assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, skilled care and an on-site in-patient dialysis center.

The project now is focusing on reconfiguring, remodeling and refreshing existing spaces in independent living. A new, five-story building will feature luxury one and two-bedroom apartments, a swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, spa, clubhouse, dining venues, and more.

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Walsh Construction workers recently unsealed the discovered time capsule and revealed the contents to residents gathered for the event. Included were an introductory letter, a Swedish Bible, documents recapping the history of the community, newsletters, a core value/mission statement, marketing materials and 1903-2003 "centennial items," such as a sewing kit, frisbee, and cookbook.

While enjoying the look at the senior living community's past, the time capsule also helped to continue building excitement about the future.

"The expansion is bringing to Downers Grove, a stunning community, creating an unprecedented caliber of senior living," said Dan Harrington, director of sales.

Oak Trace Senior Living

Oak Trace senior living community in Downers Grove is set on more than 40 acres of landscaped grounds featuring gardens, walking paths, ponds and abundant greenspace. Oak Trace has private independent living apartments, as well as assisted living, memory care, skilled care and rehabilitation. The Life Care Community offers guaranteed lifelong care with predictable costs. Oak Trace is owned by Lifespace, a nonprofit organization with more than 45 years of experience in senior living. To learn more about Oak Trace, visit www.OakTraceSeniorLiving.com.

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