It's "Time" for Carefree AZ Sundial to get Powder Coated

Renovation will update anodized copper sculpture


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Anyone who has taken a drive through Arizona in the past 50 years and passed through the town of Carefree outside of Phoenix has probably seen what is billed as the “third largest sundial in the Western Hemisphere.”


The notorious Carefree sundial – at 35 feet tall and 72 feet wide ‑ is in the midst of a $9,700 powder-coating facelift. Erected in 1959, the sundial remains the same anodized copper color, but its look will be freshened by some powder coating and painting of its lattice work.


Fusion Powder Coating in El Mirage, AZ will do the work for $2,700, according to the town council.


The idea to freshen the sundial grew out of a couple of "visioning" meetings in which the town council looked at short- and long-term ways to ensure the town's economic vitality. A concept that caught fire was to improve the town center's appearance. The sundial sits in the town center.


Architect Joe Wong and solar engineer John I. Yellot designed the massive sundial as a tourist attraction for an isolated piece of desert. The sundial is made from a steel frame and coated with anodized copper. The gnomon, or the shadow-casting portion of the dial, is 72 feet, long and its tip is 35 feet off the ground.


It received its last major face lift in 2004.


It was built in honor of K.T. Palmer, the founder of Carefree. He and his partner Tom Darlington had a vision of creating a town entirely from scratch, and so they bought 2,200 acres outside of downtown Phoenix and went to work. The sundial itself stands at the juncture of Sunshine Way, Carefree Drive, and Easy Street


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