The Equatorial Sundial was commissioned by Crown Hill in 1985, fabricated at Woolery Stone Company in Bloomington, Indiana in 1986 and 1987, and completed on site in 1987 by designer and sculptor David L. Rodgers. At the time, it was declared Indiana's largest equatorial sundial. "We wanted to build something that would catch the interest of the public," explained Stewart D. Tompkins, then executive vice president of Crown Hill Cemetery. "We also wanted the structure to be educationally stimulating."
The sculptor incorporated several site-specific factors in his design. A dominant form in the sculpture is the circle. Its presence derives from its appearance in the late art deco style mausoleum, designed by D. H. Bohlen and Son before which it stands.
The artist concentrates on the themes of man's orientation in time and space and the natural order of things. By designing a sculpture that is a functional sundial, he establishes for Crown Hill Cemetery a visible relationship between human time and cosmic time. The sculpture, therefore, relates the cyclic birth, maturation and conclusion of each day to the beginning, development, and fulfillment of individual human life.
The commission of the Equatorial Sundial was made possible by the generous support of nine families, members of which are interred at Crown Hill Cemetery. Their names and an explanation of the sundial's use are engraved on a granite marker installed along with the sundial.
Trusts from These Persons
Made This Memorial Possible
Sally E. Coleman
Amy F. Collins
Lydia M. Cravens
Margaret Hamilton Hatch
Ralph F. Moore
Fred G. Murphy
William R. Rhoades
Lenore & Leroy Sanders
Laura M. Stark
"Sundials are arguably the oldest of all scientific instruments. Their beauty is often a reflection of great craftsmanship, as well as a design statement that is highly ordered and rational. As objects that perform a function, yet require no power and perform indefinitely, they are a powerful symbol of endurance and permanence."
Sundials: History, Art, People, Science
Mark Lennox-Boyd 2006