Multnomah County reveals Courthouse time capsule before sealing until Year 2120

December 2, 2022

Multnomah County invites reporters and photographers to examine the contents of a time capsule that will be placed in the new downtown Central Courthouse for the next century. Time capsules tell an important story for future generations. The time capsule includes several items from the early 2020s representing the completion of the courthouse construction, the COVID-19 pandemic and pivotal moments for Multnomah County. Press will have access to shoot footage and take pictures of the items that will be included in the time capsule and interview key leaders in the construction of the $324 million building that was completed and opened during a global pandemic.

Press availability: 

Location: Multnomah County Courthouse – 1200 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR


Monday, December 5 

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


  • Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury 
  • Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Nan Waller 
  • Multnomah County Sheriff Michael Reese 
  • Courthouse Project Manager JD Deschamps
  • Courthouse Property Manager Mike Crank 

Multnomah County opened its new Central Courthouse during a historic time: the peak of a global pandemic and months of daily racial justice demonstrations. A time capsule, set to be opened 100 years from 2020, contains items that help tell the story of the last few years, including letters from Multnomah County judges reflecting on the extremely challenging times and their visions for the future. Items in the time capsule also include a judge’s robe and gavel, face masks, a COVID-19 test, notable front pages of the local newspaper, key press releases, photos of leaders involved in the courthouse project, and pictures of Portland’s empty streets during the earlier days of quarantine, as well as those taken during major demonstrations for racial justice in downtown Portland.  

“The time capsule is an exciting, meaningful way for us to make sure that a record of the profound adversity that our community has endured over the last several years — and just as importantly, how we endured it — remain part of the fabric of Multnomah County's spirit and history,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said. 

The new Central Courthouse, located at 1200 SW 1st Ave., opened in October 2020. It replaced the old central courthouse, which dated back to the early 1900s and was not up to current seismic codes. The old building also presented security concerns for the courts and public due to courthouse limitations in separating criminal defendants from judges and witnesses. 

Learn more about why Multnomah County replaced its century-old courthouse in this video.