City Hall Centennial Opens Geneva Time Capsule

It's the 100th anniversary of Geneva City Hall. Join the party Saturday, as the contents of the 1912 time capsule are revealed and the building is rededicated to the late Chuck Lencioni.

In 1912, the unsinkable Titanic sank. New Mexico became a state. The Republic of China was established. The discovery of the South Pole was announced. The Girl Guides (now the Girl Scouts) organization was formed. San Francisco (where thousands, perhaps millions would eventually leave their hearts) welcomed its first municipally owned streetcars on its streets.

And in another municipality, 2,000 miles away from the city by the bay, Geneva City Hall opened its doors.

Geneva is celebrating this from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 19, at City Hall, 22 S. First St.

Back in 1912, city officials buried a time capsule at the building’s cornerstone, on the southeast side. What was placed inside? Find out Saturday, when the contents of that capsule, and the capsule itself, will be displayed as part of the festivities, said City Administrator Mary McKittrick. And today’s city officials are collecting 21st century items to place in a new capsule, to be buried in the same location.

Mayor Kevin Burns will welcome participants, give opening remarks and announce the capsule contents. Then will be the taking of a community photo, showing Geneva City Hall as it is today, with today’s residents. Anyone and everyone who wants to be part of it will be asked to move to the east side of the building for a big group photo, which will then be placed into the new time capsule. (Photographer Tom Nichol will be high above the crowd, perched in a bucket truck across the street.)

Following the photo, participants can tour the building and enjoy treats from and . The tours will include information on how the use of the building has changed over the years, as well as stories about Geneva’s past. The first 100 “tourists” will receive a special Centennial Coin, which will also be available for purchase. 

As part of the celebration, , in memory of , Geneva businessman and building commissioner, who died in July 2010 of complications from cancer.

“He spent so much of his career and his life in this building,” McKittrick said of rededicating the building in Lencioni’s honor. “He knew every inch of it better than anyone I’ve ever known.” 

When people visited City Hall and wanted to look around, Chuck gave the tours, McKittrick said. “He was our ‘go-to’ guy, because he knew it so well,” she said. For one thing, he was in charge of several of the renovations of the building, and could explain the changes that were made, she pointed out.

He was also a big proponent of preservation of the building, she said. At one point, the council chambers had been carpeted. “Over time, he advocated to have that carpet removed and the original floors refinished,” McKittrick said. “That’s what we have today, and it’s because of him.”

Saturday’s celebration also will include a performance by the Geneva High School marching band, and more. 

Come be part of the fun. There’s won’t be another celebration like this one, after all, until 2112. 


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