Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun
4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road
Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, 80906
Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is a commemorative tower and chapel on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It is named after Will Rogers, the American humorist, who died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935 during construction of the shrine. It is also a tomb for the remains of Spencer Penrose – who built many of the city's prominent properties, including the neighboring Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and The Broadmoor resort – and his wife Julie. Completed by Penrose in 1937, the shrine is a 100 feet (30 m), five story observation tower that overlooks The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, and Garden of the Gods.
The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is located at 8,136 feet (2,480 m) in elevation. It is about 1,500 feet (460 m) in elevation above Colorado Springs, and is also above the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on the side of Cheyenne Mountain.
The monument is made of Romanesque Revival architecture with buttresses, an ornately decorated iron and brass door, and narrow leaded windows. The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun site is entered through a stone gateway. The grounds are encircled by a stone wall made from the same single block of pink granite quarried from Cheyenne Mountain used to make the tower.
A set of Westminster chimes are played on a vibraharp every quarter-hour or every hour. The sounds of the chimes can be heard 20 miles (32 km) away, due to what was a state-of-the-art amplification system when it was built.
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