Archive for July, 2007

July 29th, 2007

Atlas’s Burden an Armillary Sphere

Posted in digressions, NYC, Sundials of Note by Heidi

Atlas, photo credit: Colin Gregory Palmer, from Wikipedia

Rockefeller Center, opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave. in NYC.
Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan, installed in 1937.

From The Art of Rockefeller Center by Christine Roussel:

“Atlas had waged and lost a ten-year war against the gods of Mount Olympus. As punishment, the gods condemned Atlas to support the earth and the heavens on his back for eternity. He had grown weary of the task and was only too glad when Hercules offered to take over his burden. In turn, Hercules said he needed help to complete his eleventh labor, fetching the Golden Apples, which were closely guarded by nymphs called the Hesperides. Prometheus had told Hercules that Atlas could easily complete this labor as he was the nymphs’ father and knew their secrets. When Atlas returned with the apples, Hercules tricked him into resuming the burden of bearing the earth and the heavens on his back for eternity. This statue depicts that never-ending punishment.

The twenty-one-foot-diameter, openwork sphere bears the signs of the zodiac, and its axis points to the North Star. . . . The celestial sphere indicates the earth’s path around the sun, the change of the earth’s axis on its orbit, and the equinoxes.”

July 25th, 2007

Goodbye, Fridgehenge

Posted in digressions by Heidi

Fridgehenge, thanks 'spiralingroove' on Flickr

Made from over 100 old refrigerators, Fridgehenge (a.k.a ‘Stonefridge’) was put together at a location near near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and completed around 1996 by artist Adam Horowitz. Recent high winds toppled many of the fridges, and the rest was finally removed in June 2007 by city officials who regarded it as a safety hazard. Unlike other Stonehenge replicas, which mimic the astronomical alignment of the original, Fridgehenge had “atomic alignment” and faced Los Alamos National Laboratories, which visitors could see in the distance.

More images of Fridgehenge on Flickr
Overview of Stonehenge replicas & derivatives
Another overview with directions to replicas in the U.S.

July 23rd, 2007

mottos vol. 2

Posted in digressions, mottos by Heidi

(rainy day post)

As these hors doth pass away so doth the life of men decay
Memento Mori

Disponit tempus dies
Days Make Years

A day may ruin thee improve this hour

Disce tuos numerare dies
Learn to number thy days

Ecce Horn
Behold, the hour of Destiny!

Thus eternity approacheth

Trifle not your time’s short

Festina Lente
Hasten Slowly

Fugit Dies
The day flies on

Hora Fugit Rapide Lethumq Invadit Inermes
The hours guide swiftly, and the unguarded are easily surprised

Fumus et umbra sumus
Smoke and shadows are we

July 20th, 2007

Another giant corporate sundial building

Posted in digressions, Sundials of Note by Heidi

‘Team Disney’ – Corporate offices for Disney, near Orlando, Florida, Arata Isozaki architect. Sundial built into center cylinder, on interior and exterior. More images and sundial details . . .

Team Disney

Team Disney interior

July 18th, 2007

Before the gnomon

Posted in LIC Gnomon by Heidi

The Citibank tower (finished in January 1989) replaced a parking lot, and the parking lot replaced St. John’s Hospital:

St. John’s Hospital

From the Long Island Star-Journal, January 1900, via the Greater Astoria Historical Society’s website:

St. John’s Hospital at Jackson Avenue and 12th Street in Hunters Point was formally opened on January 7, 1900. Bishop Charles E. McDonald delivered the blessing. In the Long Island Star’s words “The formal opening was…one of the most intensely impressive events in the history, not alone of the community in which the noble edifice has been raised, but also of the entire Borough of Queens and the whole of Long Island. The hospital is the culmination of years of arduous labor and earnest, persistent, devotion on the part of the Sisters of St. Joseph, led by the sister superior in charge, Sister Mary David.”

Long before the hour for opening the doors of the new building, immense throngs, blocking thoroughfares for some distance, gathered in front of the building. A parade featuring about 1,000 marchers proceeded up Jackson Avenue to the hospital. At precisely 3:30 PM, the doors of St. John’s were thrown open, and the parade, preceded by police officers, marched into the building. Those in the waiting crowd followed until “every passageway was filled and vantage ground secured from which to view the ceremonies, which consisted of Bishop MacDonald and a small procession walking through every portion of the building , while “blessing and consecrating it forever to the work of the Lord.”

The hospital’s interior consisted mainly of five floors of wards, but there were 22 private rooms. While patients could be admitted immediately, the facility would not be fully operational until February.

The Star’s final comment on the hospital was noting that provision had been made for emergency cases of insanity. Two rooms in the basement had been set aside for lunatics (mainly female) awaiting examining. The only other facility available for this was the county jail.

July 15th, 2007

Sundial Tour for July 15 (other dates ok too)

Posted in EVENTS, tour by Heidi

Today’s sundial self-guided walking tour map from MeatSpace Gallery to the gnomon is downloadable here as a PDF–it is applicable for days other than the 15th.

July 15 tour map

July 14th, 2007

Manhattanhenge at LIC Sundial

Posted in EVENTS, eyewitness, Zone13-7 pm by Heidi

Sunset at the LIC Sundial during Manhattanhenge (see July 6 post). Left image looking West, sun sets directly behind gnomon, right image looking East, sunset reflected off of sundial.

LIC Sundial - Manhattanhenge

July 11th, 2007

7:40 pm July 9

Posted in eyewitness, Zone13-7 pm by Heidi

Looking east at the Thompson Ave. roadway over the rail yards.

7:40 July 9

July 6th, 2007

LIC Sundial & ‘Manhattanhenge’

Posted in EVENTS, NYC by Heidi

Twice a year, in May and July, the sunset can be seen directly across Manhattan, down the middle of any crosstown street. This year the dates are May 30th and July 13–one week from today (although the general phenomena can be seen one or two days on either side).

The LIC Sundial’s gnomon is positioned directly across from 53rd street (as pictured here in June 25th post), which could set up some interesting eclipse-esque action next week. Here’s a diagram:

LIC Sundial - Manhattanhenge

More on Manhattanhenge:

Hayden Planetarium’s description, post on BLDG/BLOG, flckr photos tagged ‘manhattanhenge.’

July 3rd, 2007

8:00 am July 3

Posted in eyewitness, Zone02-8 am by Heidi

Roof of Parkview Professional Center, on 45th Road across from the park.

8am 3 July