Renovating historic buildings can be a challenge, but they offer a glimpse back in time. As we started renovations at 136 East Gay Street in preparation for the expansion of the iPasta restaurant, our construction crew started to notice coins in the dust and debris that came down with the plaster. First one, then another, until eventually they found more than 20 coins.

But these weren’t everyday coins one might find under a couch cushion.

Instead, they were of a vintage befitting a building with a plaque posted on its brick facade that notes its historical significance by none other than the U.S. Library of Congress.

One was a seated dime from 1876, another was a flying eagle penny from 1858, a third was an 1868 3-cent nickel. There was also an 1877 seated dime, an 1867 five-cent piece, an 1859 penny and an 1863 penny.

This isn’t the first time our crews have run across reminders of previous tenants.  Some of our finds can be seen on display in the Zukin Office at 121 East Gay Street.