The sun dial stands within the original circular configuration where the Ingleside Race Track operated between 1895-1905, It was known to be the world’s biggest sundial when it was built, dominating a quiet cul-de-sac within the Ingleside Terraces residential area.
On October 10, 1913, fifteen hundred people attended the opening ceremony for this twenty-eight foot marble and concrete gnomon. It was to become the focal point of its own park and Ingleside Terraces.
The grand opening for this sun-dependent clock was conducted at night. The timing had various symbolic reasons. That day, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans kissed for the first time at the Panama Canal. It celebrated the planned opening of San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Tunnel, whose reliable and clean streetcar line was designed to serve people living away from the downtown area.
Paths lead to four huge concrete columns and urns. Decorated with flowers and human figures, they symbolize “the four ages of man and nature’s four seasons.” A baby in a pram, drawn by a stork, with some encouragement from other children, traversed the heart-shaped paths that represent the four points of the compass.
With the Coast Artillery Band providing the music, grade school children costumed as sylphs unveiled each fixture. Beneath the sundial was a circular reflecting pool fed by a fountain. This had two brass seals and was surrounded by colored lights. A child emerged from the pool and represented the releasing of the water’s spirit. Encircling the area is a thirty-four-foot diameter clock face with Roman numerals.
The sun dial is hard to find, so here are the directions so that you can find it. Drive along Ocean Avenue until you reach Victoria. Go one block along Victoria, turn right on Urbano, turn left on Borica, and right on Entrado.