San Francisco's Ironic Icon: A sundial in the city's foggiest neighborhood

ByTim Jue KGO logo
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
San Francisco's hidden sundial is the city's most ironic landmark
A gigantic 28-foot sundial is located in one of the foggiest neighborhoods of San Francisco - the Ingleside District.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Few people know about San Francisco's most ironic landmark.

It's a gigantic 28-foot sundial that's located in one of the foggiest neighborhoods of the city - the Ingleside District.

When it was dedicated in 1913, the real estate developer behind the project touted the white marble and concrete structure was the biggest sundial ever built.

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"When they dedicated the sundial, they did it at night, which was crazy," said David Gallagher, director of the Western Neighborhoods Project, a San Francisco non-profit focused on historical preservation.

Gallagher said the ceremony on October 10, 1913 was bizarre. He called it a "weirdly spiritual event."

The sun dial, located on Entrada Court, was supposed to be a landmark that drew house hunters to what was then San Francisco's newest neighborhood.

With the Twin Peaks Tunnel soon to open, developers advertised a bedroom San Francisco community with big stately homes for professional white-collar families that was "minutes to downtown" by streetcar.

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The sun dial was supposed to be an attraction to get the public out to the other side of town.

Nowadays, few people - even longtime residents - know of its existence.

"The sundial is one of the west side's best landmarks," Gallagher said. "If you don't know its' there there's no reason for you to pass it."

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