A missing time capsule, the Warner mansion, and Leonard’s Flowers

At noon on Tuesday, July 21, 1953, a time capsule was ceremoniously placed inside the cornerstone of the new Ministers Life Casualty Union headquarters building at 3100 West Lake Street. When demolition of the Ministers Life building began just over 65 years later, in December 2018, anticipation and curiosity ran high: what documents, treasures, and ephemera did those four sober-sided gentlemen choose for generations yet unborn to know them by?

Apparently we’ll never know, because when the cornerstone was removed from the building, the contractors said, there was no time capsule. How does a metal box encased in concrete just … disappear? Do you have any clues? Here is the story.

Here are two articles from the Minneapolis Star about the laying of the cornerstone: July 20, 1953 and July 22, 1953.

Since we were asking for help in solving the mystery of the missing time capsule, it seemed opportune to ask readers for help with the history of two neighborhood landmarks: the little-remembered Leonard’s Flowers and the long-forgotten E.C. Warner mansion, both not much more than 100 feet from 3100 West Lake.

Spoiler alert (March 1, 2019): the story of Leonard’s Flowers arrived a few weeks later from a most unexpected source and will be published in Hill & Lake Press in the near future. Meanwhile, here are two contemporaneous newspaper accounts from July 22, 1961 and May 31, 1964.

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