Griffith Observatory - Passport to the Stars
Griffith Observatory is one of the most recognizable landmarks in California - if not the United States. The vision and mission for Griffith Observatory were launched in 1919 upon the death of Griffith J. Griffith. Wanting to give back to the people of California, Griffith donated over 3,000 acres to create a public use park. Although Griffith planned to add an observatory and an amphitheater on the grounds, he passed away in 1919 before designs were completed. In his will, Griffith donated the bulk of his 1.5 million dollar estate to completing the observatory and an amphitheater.
Believing that the world would significantly change if people could gain understanding from cosmic observation and knowledge, the Observatory opened to the public after two years of construction in 1935 with 13,000 visitors in the first week of operation. Griffith Observatory stands as a true example of Art Deco design with over 40,000 sq ft of public space for exhibitions, gatherings, and offices. The copper domes, the elaborate rotunda with fresco ceiling, and marble floors are recognizable features of the later updates and additions to the building threatened by wildfires, earthquakes, and movie cameos. Ongoing exhibits include the Telsa Coil, the Zeiss refractor telescope, coelostat (solar telescope), and Foucault pendulum.
Outside of the astounding views of the city of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign, the pristine open land in Griffith Park attracts tourists, star-gazers, photographers, movie-makers, and hikers.
Find out more about the history and architecture of the Griffith Observatory.
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