Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun
Things to do in Colorado Springs - Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun
This historic monument is only 1.4 miles up the Russell Tutt Scenic Highway from the Zoo entrance. Built by Spencer Penrose between 1934 and 1937, it stands dedicated to Will Rogers who died in a plane crash in 1935. The elevation of the shrine is 8,136 feet on the top deck and provides breathtaking views of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.A trip to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is included in your Zoo admission for that day, whether you choose to visit the Zoo or not. You must stop at the Zoo Front entry to pay your Zoo admission prior to driving up through the Zoo to the Will Rogers Shrine.
Spencer Penrose, founder of the Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, along with a group of his associates from Colorado Springs, formed the End of the Trail Association. The End of the Trail Association acquired property for the shrine and began construction in December of 1934, and finished in 1937.
During the shrine's construction, Will Rogers, an American humorist, was killed in an airplane crash in Alaska. This tragedy inspired Mr. Penrose to honor his close friend by naming the tower after him. Jo Davidson, an artist in Paris, was commissioned to
sculpt a bronze bust of Will Rogers, which stands in the ten-acre courtyard in front of the shrine. The shrine was dedicated on September 6, 1937, in a ceremony broadcast nationally on the NBC radio network.
The crowning feature of the shrine is the set of Westminster Chimes, which can be heard throughout the Broadmoor valley as they strike the quarter hours each day. Today, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun stands as an everlasting monument to the cowboy who had a special gift for making the world laugh at its own troubles.