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Vaulting into the future

October 11, 2012
Steve Schulwitz - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ALPENA - It is impossible to predict or envision what Alpena or the rest of the world will look like. in the future. Even the most creative or imaginative minds have no way of knowing the changes that will take effect over the next 100 years. However local residents in the year 2112 are going to get a taste of what life in 2012 is like thanks to a project made possible by PNC Bank of Alpena.

The bank is creating a time capsule out of a vault which is to be retired next week and in it will contain momentos, information and trinkets from today to be shared with future generations. PNC Assistant Vice President Michael Nunneley said the bank wanted to do something special with the vault and include the local people in the process.

"As the oldest operating bank in the city of Alpena, we wanted to do something fun as a demonstration of PNC's commitment to community," Nunneley said. "Over the next several weeks we are inviting customers, local businesses and citizens to place items in our giant time capsule. We will welcome notes, photos and small momentos."

The vault originally was constructed from a decommissoned war ship and used by the Federal Reserve for many years. The bank, located on Second Avenue, is undergoing renovations and the vault will not be utilized any longer, and Nunneley said if it was going to be closed, it might as well be closed with a purpose.

PNC senior Alpena banker Judy Ewing said the bank already has made donations to the collection that will become part of Alpena's legacy and are looking for more. She said most anything is relevant, but wants to stress the bank will not include items with significant monetary value and that people who are considering donating with sentimental ties, should reconsider, because once the vault is closed. It will not be opened until the times reaches 100 years. She said the bank also donated several items to the museum for people to enjoy now.

"PNC Bank has also donated multiple items to the Jesse Besser Museum, including a like-new 48-star American flag found in a downstairs vault, an early 1900s plat book and some old banking stamps and counters," Ewing said.

There are many local, state, national and world news events that also may be included in the time capsule. There also will be a copy of this story and today's edition of The News included so those who open the vault will know the intent of the bank and the Alpena community in making the capsule, as well as reveal some of the local happenings.

Other things of note that may be included could be articles or props related to the 2012 presidential election, Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera triple crown season and other relevant news from around the world. The vault will be closed on Oct. 19 between 4-4:40 p.m. so anyone wishing to make a donation is asked to do so beforehand. For more information contact the bank at 354-0200.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5689.



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