A Hartford Times newspaper dated Nov. 29, 1951, local municipal budgets from the towns surrounding Bradley International Airport, and an advertisement promoting the airport were among some of the items found inside a time capsule buried for 63 years in Terminal B’s cornerstone.
The time capsule was opened Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Loretta Dyson, the niece of Francis S. Murphy, the editor and publisher of the Hartford Times and former chair of the Connecticut Aeronautics Commission. The terminal, which is in the early stages of demolition, was named “The Murphy Terminal.”
The opening of the time capsule was bittersweet for Dyson.
“My heart is broken,” Dyson said. “It used to be so thrilling to see his name on the terminal.”
The terminal had been the oldest operating airport terminal in the United States before it was closed to airline operations in April 2010.
Mary Ellen Jones, chairwoman of the Connecticut Airport Authority board, said the demolition of the building, which opened in 1952, will pave the way for a new, state-of-the-art transportation facility. The new building, which is slated for construction in 2016, will provide a consolidated area for airport rental car parking, approximately 900 public parking spaces, a transit center with bus docks for regional and high-frequency service to the Windsor Locks Train Station, and potential future light rail connectivity.
“The Murphy Terminal has served Bradley International Airport well over the past 62 years, but it is time to transition from the old Bradley to the new Bradley,” Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin A. Dillon said. “The projects that will be completed by the CAA over the next few years will usher in a new era for Bradley International Airport, and we are committed to providing our passengers with convenient, state-of-the-art facilities.”
Wyman, who attended the ceremony Tuesday, said Bradley International Airport is an important economic driver in Connecticut. She said it helps sustain 20,000 jobs.
“This project is a rededication of our efforts to improve traveler experience and better connect passengers to transportation hubs,” Wyman said.
She said the timing couldn’t be more perfect because Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been talking about his vision for the state’s transportation future over the past few months.
“Our big push is going to be about transportation,” Wyman said. “And this is a big part of it.”
Wyman, Jones, and Dyson laughed as they read off the list of guests who attended the dedication ceremony for the opening of “The Murphy Terminal.”
“Those present at the cornerstone ceremony: Gov. John Davis Lodge, Francis S. Murphy . . . Eugene Wilson, Daniel Wheeler, John Trumbull, Dexter Kaufman . . .” Wyman read from a document found inside the capsule.
“No women back in those days,” Jones said.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was then President of Columbia University, attended the groundbreaking of the terminal on May 23, 1950, after the state legislature provided $2 million in 1949 bonding funds for the project.
The contents of the time capsule and the cornerstone will be left on display in Terminal A.