The Longview Public Library is the likely resting place of a time capsule to be buried during the city’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2020.
Members of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission tentatively settled on the site Tuesday after learning that two more preferred locations — the Gregg County Courthouse and the future Longview Police Department station — were turned down.
Preservationists for the city and Gregg County are planning to fill a time capsule with items nominated by the community that will be buried for the next 100 years as part of Longview 150, the city’s sesquicentennial next winter and spring to commemorate the city’s founding in 1870.
District 1 Councilman Ed Moore, who serves as council liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, has asked residents to suggest items that could go into the time capsule.
Suggestions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
“What kind of things would we want people in the year 2120 in Longview to know about us living here in Longview today?” Moore said at a May 23 City Council meeting. “If you have any suggestions whatsoever … We want to try to fill this up with things that are typical of our life today in Longview.”
The city’s centennial time capsule was buried on the courthouse south lawn in 1970, commission member Andy Khoury said.
In April, commissioners considered burying the capsule at the courthouse, but a subcommittee dedicated to the time capsule decided last month that the capsule should be buried on city property.
Subcommittee members then decided that the top three municipal grounds considered for burial were the front lawn of the planned Longview police station on South Street, the library or the former municipal building that now serves as the Central Fire Station.
The police department didn’t want the capsule buried at its new location, Moore said, so he and Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Jim Cogar suggested the library as the next best choice.
Commission member Mike Smith asked Moore, “What’s the police department’s problem with it?”
Moore answered, “They just don’t want it. My guess is this time capsule is community-wide and it should be in a broader location than the front yard of the new police station.”
Cogar then said, “I recommend the library because that was our second choice.”
Khoury said Wednesday that burial at the Longview Public Library is tentative pending approval by library and other municipal leadership.
The subcommittee must decide how large the time capsule will be, what will go inside it and how to pay for the endeavor that Cogar has said will likely incur a four-digit cost.
“It’s a chicken-and-egg thing,” Cogar said. “Do we give (residents) the size and hope they find stuff or do we put out feelers saying we’d like this put in there and we’ll go out and find the size that fits all of the things people are enthusiastic about?”
The commission’s next regular meeting is set 2 p.m. July 2 at the city’s Development Services Building at 410 S. High St.