The Rocky Mountains along the Front Range have long provided inspiration for artists and serve as a breath-taking backdrop for many unique, beautiful parks in Colorado. In the 1940s, as part of the Works Progress Administration, Mountain View Park, later named Cranmer Park, was constructed in the Hilltop neighborhood of Denver. A striking element of the park is a grand terrazzo panorama, a raised paved plaza that features a mosaic along its west side echoing the skyline of the Rocky Mountains. In the center of the plaza sits an impressive, 8-foot-diameter Chinese-style sundial.
Over time, the terrazzo panorama and sundial succumbed to the elements and were in need of renovation. A public-private coalition, including Colorado Preservation, Inc., The Park People, and the Denver Parks and Recreation, along with local residents, have worked together to raise money and put together plans to restore this park to its original glory.
Krische Construction is working in tandem with specialty firms including Building Restoration Specialties, Finn-Wall Specialties, and Erickson Monuments to restore the park. Renovations are currently in the final stages with a grand re-opening planned for mid September. The restoration has been coordinated to carefully remove, restore, and re-use as much of the original elements of the plaza as possible. Along the west-facing panoramic mosaic, many original interpretive panels and markers have been repaired and placed as they were originally. Experts at Finn-Wall meticulously surveyed and scanned the original mosaic to reconstruct this as close to the original as possible.
Erickson Monuments, who designed the original sundial, were able to remove and restore this feature, which will be set back on the plaza in mid August. The analemmatic stones beneath the sundial that delineate the months and seasons have been carefully re-created. The restored terrazzo panorama and sundial will provide a safe, beautiful place for residents and visitors to enjoy for many more generations.