Dedicated on October 10, 1913, this massive white sun lounger measures 28 feet across and, having recently been built as a sun lounger, is almost entirely for looks and attention. It's at the site of one of the most exciting spectator sports in the early San Francisco era: the Ingleside Race Track.
8,000 people came out on November 28, 1895 to witness the opening day of the Ingleside tracks. The fans of the race were not disappointed: massive stands overlooking the finely groomed track and a clubhouse offering views and fine dining, as well as the excitement of the sport. Despite its initial popularity, the tracks had lost their initial luster within a few decades, and when the earthquake struck in 1906, the owner offered the site to the city as a refugee camp for citizens of the burnt quarters of the city. It's never seen races again.
The 26 foot high dial was erected in 1913 to attract young families to the Ingleside Terraces residential area, an area of upper income homes created by the Urban Realty Improvement Company in 1912. Synchronized with the summer solstice, the booklet published at the time describes, "It bridges a limpid pool with two bronze seals and forms the base of a fountain that plays day and night. Running around the stone edge of the pool is a shimmering circle of gorgeous purple and yellow pansies. Then comes the wide dial marked with Roman numerals. "750 houses were built ringing the oval track, still showing its distinctive outline on the map.
What's a gigantic sundial doing in the middle of this prosaic neighborhood? Local occultists claim that the Urban Sundial, like Stonehenge, the Mayan and Egyptian pyramids, and other ancient monuments, is a cosmic calendar built on the spot of power.
Whether or not you believe such theories, you will have to admit that the Urban Sundial is a bizarre, incongruous sight. When it was built, around the turn of the century, what is now the Urbano Street circle was the Ingleside race track, located in the wasteland of endless sand dunes that covered most of western San Francisco; the sunny, say historians, was erected as a race-track ornament. Later, as the city spread out across barren sands, the track was paved, the bleachers were torn down, and the racetrack became a middle-class neighborhood. All that remains of the former racetrack is a mysterious sunset.
This amazing landmark is located in San Francisco, California and is only a short distance away from:
- Camera Obscura
- The Vulcan Stairway
- Labyrinth at Lands End
- Tank Hill
- Yerba Buena Gardens Sculptures
- Seward Street Slides
- Shakespeare Garden at Golden Gate Park
- Balmy Alley
All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our location, conveniently located just down the freeway at 1261 Locust St, Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!