- Capitol Tour
- 416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98504
Tuesday, January 30th at Noon
The sundial was originally dedicated in January 1959. The Tuesday, Jan. 30 event will begin at noon and feature speakers from Enterprise Services, the Governor’s Office, the State Arts Commission, and the University of Washington.
Following its first overhaul in 59 years, the sundial will be sturdier than ever and maintain its original appearance. The state’s project goals for the sundial’s renewal included:
- Retaining the original artwork and aesthetics.
- Accuracy in reading solar time.
- A strengthened form to improve durability and deter vandalism.
The sundial was designed by artist and master craftsman John W. Elliott (1883-1971). It has eight panels depicting scenes from Washington’s territorial history, from Capt. Vancouver’s exploration of Puget Sound to the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
Enterprise Services consulted with both the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and the State Arts Commission in deciding to replicate the original artwork. University of Washington astronomy professor and sundial expert Woody Sullivan consulted on the project to ensure the finished sundial’s accuracy.
The sundial was removed for work in July 2017. Its gnomon — the part that casts a shadow— and the well-weathered copper face of the dial were each in considerable need of repair.