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$2 million project restores historic Denver sundial at Cranmer Park

Our Colo.: Community instrumental in raising funds
Posted: 4:40 PM, Oct 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-04 00:36:38Z

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DENVER -- On a beautiful day, the view from Cranmer Park is stunning. When it's sunny outside people often gather around the park's sundial, and kids love to play on it.

The six-foot-tall sundial is the centerpiece of the park but the plaza it sits on fell into disrepair. Colorado's weather wasn't kind to the flagstone that was laid in the 1930s and the sundial was chipped in several places.

A ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday marked a new chapter for the park, ensuring that it will be preserved for generations to come. The city's Parks and Recreation Department joined residents to celebrated the completion of a $2 million renovation project.

"This is part of Denver’s historic framework," said Denise Sanderson with Save Our Sundial.

When that piece of history fell into disrepair the community came together. The group, Save Our Sundial, was formed and began raising money to restore the park. They partnered with an organization called The Park People as well as with the city of Denver.

Crews had to deconstruct the entire plaza because much of the stone was damaged beyond repair. They also added an improved drainage system in hopes of preventing cracks that were caused by freeze-thaw weather cycles.

The sundial was carefully lifted and transported for restoration. It is not the original; the first sundial was destroyed by vandals who used dynamite to blow it up in 1965.

There's a theme when it comes to Cranmer Park. The community railed to raise funds for a new sundial when it was destroyed back then and neighbors joined together again to raise $830,000 for the current restoration.

"I think as Denver grows and as this neighborhood has changed in the 35 years that I have lived in the neighborhood, this park becomes more beloved," said Sanderson.