Sundial Plaza/Cranmer Park

Sundial-Cranmer Park

Year Listed: 2013
County: Denver County
Construction Date: 1966
Threat When Listed: Deterioration
Status: IN PROGRESS
 

The land for Cranmer Park was acquired in 1908, with the first recorded reference to any site development occurring in 1923, when construction began on the terrazzo terrace. At the time the park was named Mountain View Park given that the platform offers an excellent view of the Front Rage. Mountain profiles were etched in the terrazzo creating a mosaic panorama of Colorado’s mountain range, which mimic the breathtaking view.

Inscriptions etched in the panorama detail historic landmarks from Pikes Peak and Long’s Peak, The terrazzo construction as well as the parks notable flower beds were funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

The sundial was installed in 1941, and was based on an ancient Chinese sundial, out of quartzite stone quarried in Lyons. Unfortunately, the original sundial was bombed by dynamite by vandals in 1965.The destructive incident prompted a community-wide effort to reconstruct a replica of the sundial, led by city officials, members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, residents, and business leaders and installed in 1966.

Its current condition can be best described as disrepair to the point of destruction. There are crumbling flagstones, missing stones, broken and cracked etchings in the tablets, and broken mosaic stones in the etched Mountain View panoramas and the repairs made so far have been done in an insensitive manner.

Despite the condition of Cranmer Park/Sundial Plaza there is a large amount of community and local support. The Cranmer Park/Hilltop Civic Association has worked with the city to finalize plans for the renovation of the Sundial Plaza in Cranmer Park. The Save Our Sundial Committee has recently joined forces with The Park People to raise the private funds needed to supplement the public funds committed to this project by the city.

A benefit concert will be rescheduled later this summer to help restore the site – for the latest information check the Save Our Sundial link below.

Additional Links:
Save Our Sundial – Denver Foundation
Cranmer Park Hilltop Civic Association

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Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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