Grffith J. Griffith (1850 – 1919), mining and real estate mogul, who’s first and last name are the same, felt that Los Angeles was a great city, that needed a “great park,” as he has seen in a tour abroad in Europe. On December 16, 1896, he donated 3,015 acres of, what was then, Rancho Los Felis to the City of Los Angeles in order to create a public park in his name. “It must be made a place of rest and relaxation for the masses, a resort for the rank and file, for the plain people,” Griffith said on that occasion. “I consider it my obligation to make Los Angeles a happy, cleaner, and finer city.” We really appreciate that, Mr. Griffith Griffith… Griffith.
On December 12, 1912, he offered the City of Los Angeles $100,000 for an observatory to be built on the top of Mount Hollywood to be fully owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. It finally opened in 1935, and continues to be one of the great architectural landmarks of LA.
If you’re looking at the Hollywood Sign, just to your right, the gorgeous white building with the dome on the precipice of the hill – that’s the Griffith Observatory. At night, it’s a lantern on the dark wall of the hills; Hollywood’s porch light.
It’s a great place to go, whether during the day or night, for stunning views of the city. The grounds, and surrounding nature, are great to explore on a sunny day, of which we of course have many. Inside the Observatory there are some interesting (and some less interesting) exhibits, telescopes, and activities, a lot of them especially good for kids. They also have a planetarium show, titled “Center of the Universe,” that is pretty corny, but actually fun and surprisingly entertaining. It’s $7 for adults, and the times are:
|Wednesday – Friday:||1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 8:45 p.m.|
|Saturday – Sunday:||11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m.,
6:45 p.m., 8:45 p.m.
|CLOSED Mondays and Tuesdays|