After more than a year of construction, the new Bowie City Hall and the Bowie Portal Dial off Evergreen Parkway and Emerald Avenue in Bowie, Maryland, will be dedicated on the 7th of May, 2011. The City Hall, Police Station along with two works of public art, an interior mobile and the 15-foot steel and bronze sundial will grace the City of Bowie
The idea for a sundial started in early 2009 when the City Council decided to add a working sundial to the front landscape. The Director of Community Services prepared a Call to Artists and enlisted the North American Sundial Society to assist the Public Arts Panel to evaluate responses. By November 2009, three semifinalists were invited to visit Bowie, meet the architects, and see the construction site. Alvin Sher, Rafe Ropek, and Gino Schiavone each prepared their vision of the Bowie City dial and submitted models. Within a month, the panel selected the design by Gino Schiavone and his wife, Judith.
The base of the dial forms a portal, reflecting the dial’s name “Bowie Portal Sundial”. Two granite benches flank the portal and underneath the benches is a theme of running horses, making reference to Bowie’s long racing history. At the entrance of the sundial portal is a bronze outline of children playing, reflecting upon the true asset of Bowie, typically thought of as a “bedroom community” to Washington DC.
The dial has a plaque for the Equation of Time including longitude correction, making the sundial an accurate timeppiece.
Surrounding the base of the dial is a tile mosaic compass rose of cardinal points, creating the perfect setting for the monumental dial. Standing some feet away from the dial you can simultaneously see the sundial and the new Bowie City Hall tower clock. This inspired Gino Schiavone to write: