Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Solstice Calendar (near Abell Library Center)

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Institution Name: Austin College
Original/Historic Place Name: Solstice Calendar (near Abell Library Center)
Location on Campus: in front of library
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1986original construction Van Alstine, John
Type of Place: Landscape site
Type of landscape–
Large-scale features:
Large granite statuary constructed in front of Abell Library Center to commemorate the Texas Sesquicentennial.
Other characteristics:
Materials: pink granite
1986-present (2007)memorial site (solstice calendar)

Significance: architecture, education, landscape
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Solstice Calendar was carved by noted artist, John Van Alstine, in celebration of the newly constructed library and the Texas Sesquicentennial in April 1986. The sculpture functions as a solar calendar that marks the solstice each season by the shadow falling on the metal bars between the two upright sections. The statuary is linked to Texas history, as the granite came from the same quarry used to build the capitol building in Austin. It is constructed of three pieces of Texas granite weighing 3, 15, and 21 tons respectively. The color is a light pink with large pronounced crystals and flecks of mica that make it seem alive in reflected sunlight.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Cummins, Light T. Austin College: A Sesquicentennial History, 1849-1999. Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 1999.

Cummins, Light T., and Edward Hake Phillips, eds. Footsteps to the Past: A Walking Tour of the Austin College Campus. Sherman, TX: Austin College, 1988.

Wallace, Percy Everett. "The History of Austin College." M. A. thesis, University of Texas, 1924.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Facilities Management Office

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