In 1907, 23 acres of Hilltop was purchased as part of Denver‘s “City Beautiful” plan that set aside land for the purpose of installing parks throughout the city. The future of Hilltop was secure with the establishment of Inspiration Park in 1909, then renamed Mountain View Park.
George Cranmer, a native Coloradoan, developed a love for the outdoors as he worked on ranches owned by his father and his uncle. George served as campaign manager for Denver Mayor Ben Stapleton. Following Stapleton’s election in 1935, George became manager of the city’s parks and recreation system and earned the nickname, “The Pericles of Denver”. His accomplishments include Red Rocks Theater, the routes of the Valley Highway and the Boulder “Turnpike”, purchase of the land for Stapleton Airport, and the Williams Fork Water Tunnel. George Cranmer constructed his estate atop the hill and alongside the future park in 1916.
The current sundial in the park is the second one to exist at this location in the park. The first was donated in 1941 by Mr. Cranmer. The park was renamed after him in 1935. The sundial was destroyed by vandals who exploded dynamite under it in September 1965 and the replacement sundial was installed in March, 1966 after a successful city-wide fundraising effort led by the Denver Junior Chamber of Commerce. The sundial tells time while visitors match the terrazzo mountains rimming the west edge of the plaza to their namesakes clearly seen in the distant mountain range.
The 1 square mile neighborhood contains houses built in 22 different architectural styles including Tudor, English and Norman Cottage, Mediterranean Revival, Georgian, Regency and Mid-Century Modern.
- Apple’s Maps leads users to Stapleton airport, McNichols arena (denverpost.com)
- Curiosity’s Sundial Carries a Message of Hope (universetoday.com)
- Modern in denver (denverreal.wordpress.com)
- Tired of the Speculation, Trader Joe’s Confirms (downmainstreet.com)
- Sundial Clock (sfluxe.com)
- Curiosity’s sundial carries a message of hope (phys.org)