Millennium Sundial, Town Commons, Greenville
The Millennium Sundial consists of 13 stone bollards arranged in a shallow curve on a fan shaped concrete pad. Centered on the bollards in the middle of the fan is a narrow granite slab. Incised into the slab is a straight line with a series of dates incised on either side. One stands on today’s date and their body becomes the gnomon of the sundial. One then points to their shadow to find the time of day. Behind the bollards is a low wall where historically important events can be inscribed later. Two flat granite markers are on either side of the fans base. The left marker exhibits a graph and explains the difference between apparent solar time and the actual time. The right marker contains dedication and donor information. The purpose of the sculpture was to showcase public art and mark the millennium. The sundials theme is “Time is a Destination.”
Images: Plaque with dedication and names of sponsors | Inscription | Plaque with instructions
AS THE EARTH REVOLVES AROUND THE SUN, THERE IS AN ECCENTRICITY TO THE EARTH’S ORBIT. THIS ECCENTRICITY RESULTS IN A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE APPARENT SOLAR TIME AND THE ACTUAL TIME. / THIS DIFFERENCE IS DEFINED BY THE EQUATION OF TIME. THE EQUATION OF TIME IS THE SUM OF TWO / OFFSET SINE CURVES WITH PERIODS OF ONE YEAR AND SIX MONTHS RESPECTIVELY. TO CORRECT FOR / THIS DIFFERENCE, FIND THE DATE ON THE
GRAPH ABOVE AND ADD OR SUBTRACT THE NUMBER / OF MINUTES TO OBTAIN THE ACTUAL TIME FROM THAT OF THE APPARENT SOLAR TIME ON THE SUNDIAL.
Dedication inscription: GREENVILLE MILLENNIUM SUNDIAL / BUILT BY THE COMMUNITY TO COMMEMORATE THE BEGINNING OF A / NEW MILLENIUM OF TIME / DEDICATED DECEMBER 15, 2006 / EXECUTED BY THE GREENVILLE MILLENNIUM COMMITTEE / JOHN T. MEREDITH, MD. CHAIR / DONORS AND CONTRIBUTORS: /
[Left column] WEST MEMORIAL FUND / GREENVILLE UTILITES COMMISSION / SUNPATH DESIGNS, INC. / WACHOVIA /
[Right column] C.A. LEWIS, INC. / GREENVILLE MARBLE AND GRANITE / ADAMS PRODUCTS COMPANY / THE EAST GROUP /
[Center, bottom] CITY OF GREENVILLE
Greenville City Recreation and Parks
December 15, 2006
35.615330 , -77.371940 View in Geobrowse
Batchelor, Scott. “Sundial shines after delay - Functional art for millennium,” The Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC), December 16, 2006
“Millennium Sundial – Greenville, NC,” Waymarking.com, (accessed August 21, 2016) Link
“Recreation And Park Facilities,” Greenville North Carolina, (accessed September 2, 2016) Link
“Sundial Dedicated,” Pieces of Eight. A newspaper for ECU faculty and staff, http://www.ecu.edu, (Greenville, NC), January 26, 2008 Link
Greenville Millennium Committee
The city created a committee in 1999 to design a project to symbolize the millennium. Massive flooding from Hurricane Floyd and cost considerations then delayed the project until six years past the turn of the century.
The memorial is located on the Town Commons at 105 E. 1st Street in Greenville, NC, as part of and next to the Veterans Memorial complex. Other memorials at this location include a Fallen Soldier memorial, the Old Brickell Cannon, World War One, World War Two, Korean War, and a Vietnam and Iraqi Freedom War memorials.
The Town Common features 21 acres of open green space located adjacent to the Uptown Greenville District. The Town Common is connected to the South Greenville Greenway by paved walk-ways, the Town Creek Bridge, a 1500-foot river walk and WWI Memorial Bridge along the Tar River.
The Summer Solstice is observed each year at the sundial. Annual Memorial Day, July 4th and Veterans Day activities also take place on the Town Commons.