Homage to La Ballona Creek – Sundial in Culver City, California

By | March 24, 2021

Homage to La Ballona Creek is a large sundial positioned at 32 degrees, the latitude at which Culver City is located. Set at the top of the hill, the views of the city are brilliant from here and you will be a little away from the buzz of the city below. There is a friendly trail accessible to the people with strollers & wheelchairs. 

Equatorial Sundial is a dial in which the dial plate is parallel to the equatorial plane and the polar-pointing gnomon is perpendicular to it. The equatorial sundial is the simplest of all the sundials. It can be made without mathematical calculations and can be used at any latitude.

Artist Lucy Blake-Elahi, (assisted by 6th grade students from Echo Horizon School), created colorful tiles that include references to animals and vegetation that once inhabited the area. These tiles are incorporated in the artwork around the base of the sundial. Quotations representing the diverse languages spoken in Culver City also surround the base of the sculpture. The sundial can be read from the south side in the winter and the north side in the summer.

Lucy Blake-Elahi is an arts educator and Culver City resident. She was a collaborator on two mural projects along Ballona Creek, Postcards from Ballona (1997) and Rivers of the World (1996).

The text on the plaque reads:

The slant of the dial is the same angle as the equator. The long tube, the GNOMON (no-mon), casts a shadow on the dial as the sun moves. It is set at an ANGLE of 34 DEGREES – the latitude of Culver City. It is facing true north (Polaris, not magnetic north).

The top side (north face) is set for daylight savings time (D.S.T) and is read from March 21 to September 23. The under side (south face) is set for Pacific Standard Time (P. S. T.), and is read from September 24 to March 20.

This dial shows LOCAL APPARENT TIME, therefore it will appear slow or fast at different seasons. Variation will arise from the fact that the Earth moves more swiftly in orbit closer to the sun than when farther away and, because the sun’s apparent path is elliptical. The difference between your watch and this dial is called THE EQUATION OF TIME.”

Watch our trip to this great location: