ADDING THE BIG STONES
For the article
"The Design and Construction of the U.Mass. Sunwheel" click here.
beautiful standing stones for the enlarged Sunwheel were located in a quarry only 50 miles away. These 8'-10' tall standing stones total 56 tons of granite, and are from the CHESTER GRANITE COMPANY in East Otis, Massachusetts, west of Amherst.
These stones are
NATURAL STANDING STONES, cut only on the bottom so that they have a flat surface to stand on.
To see photographs of the standing stones while still at quarry, click here.
Considerable ground preparation was necessary before the tall standing stones could be placed in position and properly aligned.
Holes were dug at 12 precisely determined locations. These holes were 4' deep, lined with a
black fabric called GEOTEXTILE, which is permeable to water, but not to
fine dirt and soil. The foundation holes were then filled with 3/4" CRUSHED STONE, which was then
compacted to prevent settling after the tall stones were aligned.
stone which fills the foundation holes total 51 tons. Finally, STAINLESS
STEEL PINS, 1" in diameter and 2' long, were used to anchor each standing
stone to a 1' thick granite slab sitting at ground level under each stone.
These slabs were sawed flat on the top and bottom, providing a flat
surface for the tall stones to stand on, and they are 1' larger in all
directions than the standing stones in order to distribute the weight.
design, approved by Dr. Don DeGroot of the U.Mass. Dept. of Civil and
Environmental Engineering, provides both safety and stability, and
ensures that the accurate alignments of the stones will be preserved. A diagram showing the
stone foundation design is shown above.
COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Overall, the cost (stone, materials, construction, labor, the exhibit, a stone path for access,
The grant from the National Science Foundation provided $35,000 toward
the Sunwheel, so aditional
funds are being raised.
ADDING THE BIG STONES
After years of
public support, planning, fundraising, and observations, the time was
perfect in early November 2000 for the 8' to 10' tall standing stones to
travel to their new home on the U.Mass., Amherst campus where they now
stand. The stones are from the Chester Granite Company, in East Otis,
Mass., and I was assisted throughout the planning and construction by
Allen Williams, owner of Chester Granite.
To see photographs of volunteers during construction, click here.
To see photographs of the foundation preparation, click here.
To see photographs of the tall standing stones while still at the quarry, click here.
To see photographs of the stones arriving on campus, click here.
To see photographs of the Sunwheel stones being aligned on Nov. 8, 2000, click here.
To see photographs of the Summer Solstice Sunrise stone being aligned, click here.
To see photographs of the Sunwheel being completed on Nov. 9, 2000, click here.
To see photographs of the finished Sunwheel, click here.
To see photographs of the stone portals in the Sunwheel, click here.