1. Accidental Time Capsule: Children’s Workshop School
In the spring of 2015, students at the Children’s Workshop School in the East Village turned their classroom into the site of an archaeological dig. Inspired by the findings of fourth grader, Bobby Scotto, and led by their teacher Ms. Miriam Sicherman, students dug beneath the floorboards of their classroom closet pulling out treasures such as wheat pennies, bits of school assignments, 1920s red cross pins, and a toy watch.
While most teachers might have scolded students for snooping around and playing on the floor, Ms. Sicherman saw their discoveries as a learning opportunity. Ms. Shicherman explained to students that the 1943 pennies they found were made of steel because of the scarcity of copper during World War II, and how some of the items might have belonged to children who came to New York through Ellis Island. The mystery of where these items came from and how they wound up underneath the floorboards of schoolroom closets, is still unsolved. The building was constructed in 1913 but it is unclear when the floorboards were installed.
Ms. Shicherman runs an Instagram account to catalog her student’s finds and in 2017 the children’s unearthed artifacts were formerly featured in an exhibition at City Reliquary called “Closet Archaeology: An Accidental Time Capsule” in the summer of 2017. The “Closet Archeology” exhibit will be on display again at the Ace Hotel. An opening ceremony will be held on March 8th, 2018.
Next, see our past coverage on New York City’s time capsules.