Explore one of L.A.’s most popular cultural attractions.
Griffith Observatory Griffith Observatory is one of L.A.’s top tourist attractions, with breathtaking views of to the Pacific Ocean to Downtown L.A. from its perch on Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park. The observatory and its exhibits were open for public viewing on the 14th 1935. Within its initial five days of operation the observatory was visited by over 13,000 people. Today Griffith Observatory is Griffith Observatory is renowned as an international pioneer in public astronomy and is a popular gathering spot for tourists as well as Angelenos alike.
The grounds of Griffith Observatory, its exhibits and telescopes are accessible and free to visitors every day that the Observatory is accessible. The Observatory also has special events, programs, and even public “star celebrations.” DASH Observatory Bus DASH Observatory Bus provides easy access to the Observatory every day of the week.
The history that is the Griffith Observatory begins with Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, who donated 3,015 acres of the land that surrounds this observatory to City of Los Angeles in December 1896. Through his will Griffith gave money to construct an observatory, an exhibit hall, as well as a planetarium on the land he donated. The goal was to open astronomy to all.
The most renowned scientists and astronomers that day were chosen as the core group to design the construction of Griffith Observatory. Griffith Observatory. George Ellery Hale, who was in charge of the construction of the telescopes in Yerkes, Mount Wilson, and Palomar Observatories as well as Mount Wilson, was the primary architect for all the design. Caltech scientist Edward Kurth drew up the preliminary plans and later supervised the construction of the structure. The architects John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley were chosen to oversee the final design of the new observatory structure. Austin and Ashley were hired by Kurth to oversee the project along with Russell W. Porter, the “Patron Saint” of the amateur telescope-making community, as a consultant.
It was in the year 2002 that the observatorium was closed to allow for a $93 million upgrade as well as a significant expansion of the exhibit space. The observatory reopened for public viewing in November of 2006. The current Art Deco style building was renovated and the planetarium’s old dome has been replaced. The structure was extended underground, and has the lower level, which houses entirely new exhibits as well as cafes, a gift shop, as well as the brand-new Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theatre. It is the Cafe at the End of the Universe is a tribute the work of Douglas Adams’ Restaurant at the End of the Universe, is one of the cafes owned by the famous Chef Wolfgang Puck.
Each of Griffith Observatory’s most important exhibits focuses on the unique aspects of observation. These comprise: Wilder Hall of the Eye Ahmanson Hall in the Sky, W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda, Cosmic Connection, Gunther Depths of Space, Edge of Space Mezzanine, and Exterior Exhibits.