Bet You Didn’t Know This About The Helium Monument at Medipark
Chances are that if you’ve ever visited Medi-Park or the Discovery Center you’ve noticed the Helium Time Columns Monument. The towering spire was built in 1968 as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of helium. It is built with four beams holding up a single beam, with a metal helium molecule in the center. The monument was lifted by helicopter to its current spot at the Discovery Center. It’s a pretty sight, but inside the steel, the beam is an essential part of Amarillo's history.
Amarillo earned its spot as the residing place for the monument because of its former status as the helium capital of the world. Playing a key role in the United States' production of helium, Amarillo gained its reputation through its helium plants opening in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Although Amarillo no longer produces the amount of helium that it once did, this memorial represents a past that Amarillo holds dear.
Within its beams, the monument holds four-time capsules containing letters, books, and magazines from 1968 that give future generations a glimpse into what life in 1960s Amarillo looks like. The capsules are set to be opened in 25, 50, 100, and 1000 years. The first was opened in May 1993, and the second was opened in 2013. To think that the next two will be opened in 2068 and 2968 is crazy. Although whether Amarillo will be around by that time is yet to be seen.