Schlagwort-Archive: Griffith Park

Griffith Park, after 1896, Los Angeles

Griffith Park, after 1896, Los Angeles

This short insight of our trip to Griffith Park concentrates on the Observatory, opened 1935. Unfortunately there was no possibility to go and see the inside of the Observatory and visit other architecture in Griffith Park.

Los Angeles city skyline at night with the Griffith Observatory in the foreground by Dancorna21

We saw Griffith Park, especially Observatory a few times during our stay in Los Angeles. It was possible to have a look at them from the basin far away and relativley close at Hollywood Hills . The fact that this park is visible from a lot of different parts of the basin underlines the signifiance of the park for the city.

Arriving at the Observatory we parked our cars at a car park 15 minutes footpath away. We walked a curvy path which directed our attention towards Observatory. The far reaching view over Los Angeles basin opened up while walking around the Observatory like a curtain. This view differed from those we saw in other architecture in the fact that it was framed by nature. Most of the lookouts we had over Los Angeles were framed by buildings from neighborhoods. Compared to the environment of Griffith Park there were no buildings that are on the same level like the Observatory. This framing cause that the observer may feel like he is the only one looking at the city, what indicates a romantic motive. Of course there are a lot more viewpoints in the area with different directions where one find these conditions. Taking the perspective from the basin of Los Angeles one can interprete that the Observatory is enthroned on the peak of Los Angeles. This peak may also be interpreted as a boat which is anchored in front of Los Angeles to invite their inhabitants to have a good time and relax, which was the ambition of Griffith, as well as his desire to make science more accessible to the public. Although this place was more touristic then any other place we visited  the last evening watching the sunset was calm und peaceful. Unfortunately  it is not possible to come to a decision according to the thesis about the mysticism in Griffith Park. Despite that the atmosphere during dusk and sunset can be interpreted as spherical.

Jasmin Roth

http://www.griffithobservatory.org/about/history.html

 

Griffith Park, after 1896, Los Angeles

Griffith Park, after 1896, Los Angeles

To conclude the last evening of our excursion we will visit Griffith Park in the northeast of Los Angeles. Due to its staggering sight this park might be a great place to review the experiences we made during a week and to catch one last view over Greater Los Angeles.

Panoramic view of the the Hollywood Hills from Griffith Park near the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles by Joe Mabel

Griffith Park has a size of 17 km² and is one of the greatest urban parks in Northern America. It is located in the eastern foothills of Santa Monica Mountains. High up on Mount Lee the famous Hollywood Sign is located. Griffith Park is built on former Spanish ranch land which was called Rancho Los Feliz. Griffith Jenkins Griffith, an industrialist and mine operator, acquired it after the natives were expropriated. 1896 he donated a part of this piece of land to the city of Los Angeles to re-landscape into a local recreation area for the inhabitants. Griffith had the idea of a city which should become happier, cleaner and finer than it was before and the „wish to pay the debt of duty in this way to the community in which he have prospered.“ Years afterwards, in 1912 the industrialist bore the costs again for the later built Greek Theater (1929) and Griffith Observatory (1935).

A legend implies that there is a curse of the Griffith Park by a member of the original owner family Feliz called Dona Petronilla: She is told to be a ghost that is responsible for the misfortune or the death of the later owners of the land. The Ghost is described as a woman wearing a white dress. It is claimed that she stays during turbulent nights in the Paco Feliz Adobe (the oldest remaining architecture in the park). Our group will go to Griffith Park in the evening. So we can perhaps meet Dona and some other ghosts that Creepy LA mentions in “The Guide to the Ghosts and Monsters of the Cursed Griffith Park.“
To talk about something less uncanny: Griffith Park is also happily combining motifs from nature, aviation and astronomy. The seemingly untouched nature of the park, which appears wild, rough and steep, can be interpreted as an oasis which expresses the longing for the biblical paradise. One could conclude that Observatory and Aerodrome – the latter was closed in World War II – are both technical as well as natural, „back to the roots“- symbols. With motives of aviation and astronomy somebody can reach out for the stars for scientific investigation as well as for the origin of God’s creation. Griffith motivation to build this kind of architecture has been the conviction that „if all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world“. During our visit of the Observatory the double meaning of this look into the sky can be discussed.

Eberts, Mike, Griffith Park. A Centennial History. Los Angeles 1996.
Manuel, Bruno, Mr. Griffith donates a Park, in: Aufbau – Reconstruction, Bd. 13 (1947),  23-24.

The Ghosts and Monsters of the Cursed Griffith Park


http://www.laparks.org/griffithpark/greek-theatre
http://www.griffithobservatory.org/about/history.html

Jasmin Roth