San Francisco students open 100-year-old time capsule 

Students at San Francisco's Cleveland Elementary School will experience a blast from the past this morning when a time capsule from 100 years ago is opened.

The time capsule was hidden in a "keystone area" of the school, located at 455 Athens St., when the building was first completed in 1910, San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Heidi Anderson said.

For a slideshow of the event, click on the photo to the right.

Former student John Weidinger, 69, discovered evidence of the time capsule while perusing an old San Francisco Call newspaper article in the San Francisco Public Library, Anderson said.

The article indicated that a copper box was set inside a wall behind a mural in the school's playground, according to Anderson.

The time capsule was located, and a ceremony is under way this morning in which Weidinger planned to saw open the box and show the contents to the students.

"He did the work on how to extract it, orchestrated the removal with Buildings and Grounds and will be presiding over the ceremony," Anderson said.

Anderson added that the mural was not harmed in the extraction process.

In preparation for the ceremony, students' curriculum was altered to focus on the discovery.

"They have been approaching what 100 years ago was like in different ways -- our younger students have been learning what, exactly, a time capsule is, and the upper grades have been discussing the lifestyle of San Franciscans back then," Anderson said.

She said she considers it a good lesson that students can use to sharpen their understanding of local history.

"It's a great opportunity for students to gain a broader perspective of not only the history of the school, but of the lives of the generations before that set foot in the school and sat in the classrooms that they sit in," Anderson said.

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