Platte Valley Time Vanes

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Artist: David Griggs (

Date: 1995

Location: Park Avenue-23rd Street Viaduct

Collection: Public Art

Artwork Type: Sculpture

Material: Painted Fabricated Steel

Description: "Platte Valley Time Vanes" consists of 6 site responsive entry monuments on a primary thoroughfare into downtown Denver. Just as wind vanes tell the direction of the wind, these monumental gateway elements tell the direction of the times in Denver’s history. The first “Time Vane” looks back more than 200 years to honor the Native American presence in the region. The second piece acknowledges the influence of the railroads during the prosperous silver boom of the 1880’s and ‘90’s. The third “Time Vane” reflects upon the visionary programs of Denver’s Mayor Speer, who launched the local “City Beautiful” movement and established Denver as an energy center for the West. The fourth piece looks into the future of the Valley, acknowledging the region’s growing technological significance as the nation’s “optical valley”. The last two, at the other end of the Viaduct, look at attitudes about time itself. One of them suggests a wheel-like movement that it measured and clock like - man-made. The other presents a sweeping motion like that of a sundial - continuous, flowing, and natural. This last “Time Vane” is recognition of man’s debt to nature, revealing that essential human rhythms are essentially celestial.