Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

nass_news_2012_sep_CrontonMemorialDialOn September 11, 2012 the Town of Cortlandt and the Villages of Buchanan and Croton-on-Hudson in New York will dedicate a giant sundial as part of a 9-11 memorial using steel salvaged from the World Trade Center site.  All are welcome to the dedication.

Visitors attending the dedication of the Buchanan*Cortlandt*Croton-on-Hudson (BCC) 9-11 Remembrance Memorial are asked to assemble at 2:30 pm at the Croton Landing parking lot and walk the 1/2 mile to the memorial site for the 3 o’clock ceremony.  A van will be available for those who wish to ride. For further information, please call the Project Director, Janet Mainiero at 914-271-8222.

A steel beam from the north tower of the World Trade Center forms a 13 ½ foot tall sundial gnomon at the center of the BCC 9-11 Remembrance Memorial located along the shores of the Hudson River at Croton Landing.  The memorial is dedicated in remembrance of the attacks on our nation and to the first and second responders and emergency rescuers who risked and gave their lives during that eventful day.  James Rhodes, sundial designer and memorial architect said “It stands as a symbol that the community cares.”

nass_news_2012_sep_CrotonSundialPlanThe concept for the memorial began in 2009 when the New York Port Authority announced it would distribute pieces of steel from the World Trade Center for use in memorials.  James Rhodes of Preservation Design became the architect and working with artist Lauren Davis and the community turned the twisted steel wreckage of 9-11 into an eternal timepiece.  The design includes not only the sundial but a life-size bronze statue of a woman reaching, but not quite touching the steel I-beam with arms outstretched under the shadow of the twisted gnomon representing both the lost and those left to mourn.

Three local governments, the Cortlandt Town Board, the Croton Board of Trustees, and the Buchanan Board of Trustees, as well as private donations have contributed to the memorial.  Janet Mainiero, Project Director, announced in June 2012 that the project would move forward in two phases after five contractors offered in-kind services.  The bronze statute has been moved to a later phase.

nass_news_2012_sep_CrotonPlaqueThe sundial gnomon, a 1000-pound, 14-foot long twisted I-Beam from the World Trade Center’s north tower will be held at an angle of 41 deg 21 minutes by an 16-ton boulder with inset channel to cradle the twisted steel.  Because of the twist and bend in the I-beam, the gnomon base is rotated 9 degrees off true north and the launch angle in the gneiss boulder is one degree greater than the latitude.  The offset alignment allows the upper end of the gnomon to point accurately to the north celestial pole, casting shadows of the local solar time.

The hours are marked with 10-inch diameter bronze plaques from 8am to 4pm along a great circle of granite stone approximately 30 feet in diameter.  The plaques remember the crashes into each tower, the Pentagon, and the Pennsylvania crash of UA flight 93.  Other plaques memorialize first responders, rescue dogs, and hope for the future, while  Old Glory flies on the noon hour marker.

[Installation and plaque photos and site plan drawing provided through the kindness of James Rhodes].  See construction photos of the memorial dial and read more from the Cortlandt Daily Voice: