Cramner Park Plaza - Denver, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 43.154 W 104° 56.087
13S E 505589 N 4396597
Quick Description: Built by the WPA, this sundial and deck has been vandalized, restored, is again in poor shape and restoration may again be executed. In Feb. 2013, it was placed on Colorado's Most Endangered Places list.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 2/8/2013 10:49:24 AM
Waymark Code: WMGB2R
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 1

Long Description:
While the stone is engraved 'Ancient Chinese Type Sun Dial', this piece has European astrological signs and months engraved around the scales of this sundial. I assume the engraving refers to the first sundial (that was destroyed by vandals) and not this tremendous replacement sundial. I was unable to locate photographs of the first sundial.

"Funded by gifts of private individuals, the Denver Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the donations of several stone, masonry, and construction companies. Cost: approx. $10,000. This sundial is a replacement for the original sundial that was donated by George E. Cramner, installed in 1941, and destroyed by vandals who bombed the sundial with dynamite in September 1965. The original sundial was designed by Stephen A. Ionides, based on a small Chinese antique sundial. The replacement sundial was created by Milt Erickson and the Erickson Memorial Company. Preliminary cutting and grinding was performed by the Mack Marble & Tile Company. The stainless steel gnomon was provided by Coors Porcelain. Colorado Masonry Contractors were responsible for the installation." (from ("!14539!0#focus)" target="_blank">visit link)

The engravings surrounding this sundial are tremendous; They read as follows:

Summer top side reads:

In summer on this side, and ~

Winter side reads:

In winter here, I mark the hours.

[Engraved calculation directions at base of each side of the dial]
Read upper edge of shadow.
Add or subtract number of minutes shown here for
the current date. The result will be watch time. The
reading on the sundial shows the visible sun's time
here. Watches are set to the average time at the
105° Meridian (7 hours west of Greenwich, England),
which lies along Navajo Street, Denver, and is 17
seconds of time west of here. The 40th parallel
of north latitude, along which are Boulder, Lafay
ette and Brighton, lies 0°17' north of this site.
The axis of this sundial is elevated 39° 43'
It points now about 1° from the north
star to the pole of the heavens. The
stone is elevated at 50° 17' to be
parallel to the equator.

The scales read:

Add 15 min
Add 10 min
Add 5 min
Sub 5 min
Sub 10 min
Sub 15 min

A smaller stone set just adjacent to the gnomen on the winter side of the sundial reads:

Erected in 1941, the original sundial added distinction to a beautiful city. It stands again, replaced by the people of Denver in cooperation with the Denver Junior Chamber of Commerce as a testament to their belief in the beauty of this city.

March 21, 1966

There are a few flagstone missing from the base of the sundial, but the sundial itself is in excellent condition. It was over 98° F (in the shade!!) while I was photographing, so I did not take the 'time' (bad pun) to do the mathematical calculations to verify my watch time (which would be 1 hour ahead since we are in daylight saving time mode) against the sun dial time. I will return in the fall when it is cooler and investigate the scales.

"Sundial Plaza at Cranmer Park, a favorite destination of geocacher Rebecca Schiefelbein, is one of five sites selected for Colorado's 2013 Most Endangered Places list.

"That's really sad," she said, looking up from the Global Positioning System she's using to locate a cache said to be hidden in Cranmer Park. "It's very educational. I'd never know where all the peaks are if not for this."

She stood before the terrazzo panorama of Colorado's mountain peaks that was built in the 1930s as part of the Works Progress Administration. The flagstone is crumbling, stones are missing, and etchings are broken and cracked.

Nearby is a sundial, based on an ancient Chinese time-telling instrument, that still keeps accurate
3. Mancos Grain Elevator Built in 1934 by Grady Clampitt for dryland wheat, it borders Mesa Verde National Park. (Colorado Preservation)

"Being a Denver park and having the WPA association is really significant, and it has a fantastic story," said Rachel Parris, endangered-programs coordinator at Colorado Preservation, which compiles the annual list.

That story centers on dynamite used by vandals to destroy the original sundial in the mid-1960s. The community gathered to raise money for a replica, which was installed in 1966. Nearly five decades later, the sundial is marred with deep cracks.

Once again, the community is banding together in an attempt to raise about $900,000 to supplement nearly $550,000 from the city for a complete overhaul of the site, down to its foundation.

Being named an endangered place "calls attention to the park and the plaza as being a place of historic value, along with other places in the state," said Denise Sanderson, who lives in the Hilltop neighborhood of Cranmer Park. "It's been a magnet in the neighborhood for generations." " (from (visit link) )
Project type: Park structure/building (other than lodge)

Date built or created: 1939-40

Location: Cramner Park, Denver, Colorado, USA

City: Denver

Condition: In need of renovation/repair

Website for additional information: [Web Link]

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