A Natick Mall time capsule sealed 28 years ago, in 1994, was dug up and reopened last week. The blast from the past brought back popular ’90s items including Friends merchandise, VHS tapes, CD players, and images of men and women with big glasses and even bigger hair, that were all displayed at Natick Mall last week.
On October 12, 1994 in Natick, Massachusetts, one of the most popular Greater Boston shopping destinations re-opened its doors after modern renovations. Unlike most mall owners, the team at Natick decided to celebrate the moment by boxing up some pieces reminiscent of the original mall, according to MetroWest Daily News.
The idea stemmed from a desire to preserve the origins of the one-level Natick Mall built back in 1966. The 1994 project was an effort to rebuild the double-decker mall we know and love today. The capsule was buried on April 26, 1994, after a few months of memorabilia and notes were collected. The idea came from the mastermind team, Charlene Leith and Joan Robblee, who were part of the development project that birthed Natick Mall.
Leith and Robblee encouraged shops and consumers to partake in the time capsule project. The efforts paid off. When the capsule was revealed on October 12, 2022, 28 years after the second grand opening, the memories came rushing back. The current management team at Natick Mall created a display on the first floor for consumers to enjoy.
According to the Natick Report, some of the items found in the box included:
- Vintage Pepsi cans
- Old handwritten inventory checklists from department stores
- The mall’s very first light fixture
- Essays from mall-goers including their predictions about the future
People predicted everything from electric cars to, yes, detangling hairbrushes (which were not a thing yet)! Sheena Peabody, 39, spent her childhood days visiting the mall with friends and family. Her essay, which she wrote in fifth grade, won second place in the essay competition based on the accuracy of her predictions for the future.
The capsule is an ode to the past but the Natick Mall Memories Facebook page, with nearly 3,000 members, keeps them alive and connected in today’s age.
You too can walk the historic halls of Natick Mall at 1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760