Photo: Roving Rube
03 February 28

Sun Triangle, McGraw Hill Building
Sun Triangle, McGraw Hill Building, Midtown  

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To round out this series, the Rube decided to figure out this sculpture, which is in the sunken plaza in front of the McGraw-Hill building on Sixth Avenue. He always thought it was some kind of sundial, whose shadow fell across the world maps in the background to tell the time.

As shown here, it does have both a regular shadow as well as an "anti-shadow" (you see something new every day, don't you?) which could be taken for two clock hands.

The mystery for the Rube, as usual, was resolved by taking a minute to read the plaque posted on the railing above the plaza. It explained(and look now at Fig. 1) that the bottom side points to the noontime sun on the shortest day of the year, December 21st, the top (longest) side to its position at noon on the equinoxes, and the shortest and steepest side to when the sun is highest in the sky here, at noon on June 21st.

This picture being taken at 2:30 on February 15th, and the sun was around the middle of where the bottom and top sides point, about where the Rube thought it should be.

Fig. 2 shows the world maps, which another plaque explains are the earth-world the continents considered as an island surrounded by water and the ocean world: a single body of water framed by the continents.

Fig. 3 contrasts the bright sculpture with the shadowed granite and limestone of the McGraw-Hill and Exxon buildings. Fig. N is a large version of this shot.

Pointing sunwards Restore original The Earth-Ocean Planet Bright Steel Dark Granite In Context