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:
1986original construction Van Alstine, John
Designer: John Van Alstine
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1986-present (2006)memorial site (solstice calendar)

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.


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.


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Last update: November 2006