Y2. Cowen Park


Go south 0.3 mi on 25th  Ave NE and turn right onto NE 75th  St. After 0.5 mi turn left at 15th Ave NE. Go about 0.7 mi and after crossing a bridge, bear right on to Cowen Pl NE; Cowen Park and the playground with the large horizontal dial are immediately on your right, about 300 ft (100 m) from the street. If you wish, take a lovely short walk in the Ravenna Creek ravine directly behind the playground.

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    This sundial was installed as part of a general campaign to improve Cowen Park by the local neighborhood and the City of Seattle. It is situated next to a playground and kids love to shinny up the gnomon. All materials apparently were secured from Boeing Surplus. The base of the gnomon is embossed with a pattern to suggest a sunflower.
The dial is unusual in that the directions N S E W are clearly marked, but these apparently refer to magnetic North, etc., which is about 17° to the east of true North. The gnomon and the hour markers are of course aligned with true North (labelled as “Due North”). There is no plaque explaining this confusing peculiarity of a sundial having magnetic directions as a major design element. The hours are marked with tiles on a very small circle given the size of the gnomon. Accuracy of the dial is ~10-20 minutes. On the solar noon line, the positions of the summer solstice, equinoxes, and winter solstice are marked (for the shadow of the gnomon’s tip). The interior of the outer circle, with the magnetic compass directions marked, is grass; outside this circle is attractive landscaping.
Just to the north of the dial are four small cast-bronze sculptures by Rachel Boughton showing the life cycle of a frog: Tadpole I, Tadpole II, Froglet, and Frog.

Last seen: 2009