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Ninety-two years ago, as the New York Life Building was going up at 51 Madison Avenue, the company placed a time capsule beneath the cornerstone. Then New York Life President Darwin Kingsley presided over a ceremony in which a copper box containing books, coins, papers, and other records from the day was interred on the corner of Park Avenue and 26th Street.

In January 2019, as building renovations were taking place near the cornerstone, New York Life retrieved and opened the capsule. Its contents were carefully removed and inspected by CEO and Chairman of the Board Ted Mathas, former Chairman and CEO Sy Sternberg, and a company archivist. The video above documents the recovery and the opening of this historic artifact.

The Cornerstone Challenge

One of the documents in the capsule was a beautiful scroll bearing the names of the winners of the “Cornerstone Challenge,” a two-month-long sales contest for New York Life agents. The winning agents also got to attend the capsule placement ceremony with company executives.

Today, New York Life is planning to place a new time capsule beneath the building’s cornerstone prior to the space being sealed up this spring. To continue the tradition, on February 1, 2019, Ted Mathas, along with Head of Agency Mark Madgett, launched a nearly identical sales contest for our agents.


Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.

Media contact
Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-6955
Kevin_B_maher@newyorklife.com

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