Demolition of Brashear factory in Pittsburgh’s North Side uncovers time capsule |

Demolition of Brashear factory in Pittsburgh’s North Side uncovers time capsule

Mayor Bill Peduto is “overjoyed” that a time capsule was found in a cornerstone of the historic John A. Brashear factory in the North Side and wants to ensure that its contents are available to generations of Pittsburghers, the mayor’s spokesman said Wednesday night.

The time capsule — containing Brashear family photos; what is purported to be one of the first pieces of optical glass made in America; and other memorabilia — was opened Tuesday, according to an Internet posting and pictures by Al Paslow of Bethel Park, a member of the Antique Telescope Society.

Brashear was a world-renowned scientist and philanthropist who made mirrors and lenses for telescopes. He died in 1920.

An emergency demolition order to raze the long-vacant building, now owned by the city, was issued because a wall collapsed last week onto an occupied apartment building next door on Perrysville Avenue.

Jadell Minniefield Construction Services Inc. of Hazelwood received $235,000 to do the work.

“Things will hopefully change, but as of now, the demolition company owner is still holding onto the time capsule, apparently with hopes of selling it,” Peduto spokesman Timothy McNulty said.

Neither Minniefield nor Paslow could be reached for comment.

“The city … is reviewing its legal options and will do all it can to preserve this artifact for its rightful owners, the people of Pittsburgh,” McNulty said. Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Heinz History Center in the Strip District, has talked with Minnifield and Peduto’s office, history center spokesman Ned Schano said.

“The History Center would be happy to help preserve and conserve the time capsule,’ ” Schano said.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.