Located in Denver's Hilltop neighborhood, Cranmer Park is used by an estimated 70,000 Denver and metro area residents each year. It’s a popular venue for organized sports, picnics, casual strolls, and walks with the dog.
The park is commonly known as “Sundial Park” for its beloved, 6-foot sundial. The giant sundial sits atop a sweeping flagstone terrace (aka "the plaza"), which was built in the 1930s through the Works Progress Administration (employing unskilled, unemployed people to carry out public works projects as part of the American New Deal). The plaza's western edge is bordered by a beautiful (but cracking) mosaic panorama depicting the Front Range, including five 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation). This colorful mosaic serves as a visual gateway to the mountains, and tour buses make the sundial and mosaic panorama a regular stop to introduce visitors to a unique Denver landmark and to the Rocky Mountains.
The sundial and plaza are the backdrop of many people’s cherished memories: viewing sunsets and fireworks, marriage proposals, weddings, and children ‘summiting’ the sundial.
A little history: Once the highest point in Denver, the park was originally named Mountain View Park for its expansive view of the Rocky Mountains to the west. The park was renamed after George Cranmer, a former Manager of Denver’s Department of Parks and Improvements in Mayor Ben Stapleton’s administration. George Cranmer and Mayor Stapleton are recognized as the visionaries behind much of Denver’s extensive parks system, most notably Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Winter Park. George Cranmer personally donated the original 6-foot sundial, carved from quartzite stone quarried in Lyons, CO and based on an ancient Chinese sundial design. Vandals dynamited the sundial in 1965, but the community rallied to raise funds for its replacement.