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For old Children’s Hospital, a mystery: Where is the time capsule?

In its 125-year history on Bryant Street, the old Women & Children's Hospital grew from 12 beds in a converted house to a sprawling campus with seven interconnected buildings.

New buildings opened or major additions were built in at least eight separate projects before the hospital closed last week.

So hospital officials assume there must have been at least one time capsule buried at some point.

The question is: Where?

"We've walked the campus, looked at the cornerstones of all these buildings and plaques ..." said Michael P. Hughes, a spokesman for Kaleida Health. "It's like a mystery."

For two years, as Kaleida Health prepared to shut down the old hospital and move into a new one on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, employees looked through old records and searched the buildings for clues.

Control of the buildings were turned over on Monday to a redevelopment team that plans to turn the facility into a new residential complex with apartments, condos, retail, commercial space and more.

The team, lead by Ellicott Development and Sinatra & Company Real Estate, has been asked to keep a look out for a time capsule.

The hospital system has also enlisted the help of the Buffalo History Museum. A Kaleida employee reached out to the museum on Monday to see if they had any records that would unveil the location of a time capsule.

"There's a ton of history there," Hughes said of the old hospital. "There could be more than one time capsule. We've put the word out through staff. I'm quite certain something will pop up."

Children's Hospital quickly outgrew its space after opening in 1892 with 12 beds in a converted house at 219 Bryant St. Another building opened in 1908 on an adjoining property, increasing capacity to handle as many as 60 patients. Over the next few decades an assortment of buildings were constructed and others razed to make room for them.

Today, the shuttered campus on Bryant Street comprises seven interconnected buildings constructed between 1917 and 1995.

Kaleida Health, which stopped using the Byrant Street hospital on Friday when it opened John R. Oishei Children's Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, is still working to remove equipment from the old site.

Mystery won't surround the time capsule for the new Oishei Children's Hospital.

Employees placed a time capsule under a new slab of concrete next to the hospital's front entrance at 818 Ellicott St. when the building was dedicated Oct. 17. A three-ring binder detailing the "Save Children's Hospital" campaign from years ago, a few items from the old hospital, stones decorated by children affiliated with the Stone's Buddies program and a flag were placed in it.

This time, hospital officials plan to mark it with a plaque.

News Medical Reporter Henry L. Davis contributed to this report.

What's next for the former Children's Hospital site?

A 1.2-mile journey from Children's past to its future

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