First, we’d like to mention that today’s post is our 200th! We love sharing our adventures and interests with you and can’t wait for the next hundred! Now, we are going to celebrate this anniversary with a post that is out of this world!
In our previous dispatches, we were visiting the East Coast and ended that trip in Savannah before returning home. Our next Woof Trek was to the West Coast, aka the best coast. We made a trip to Los Angeles and we drove up to Griffith Park.
Griffith Park is located at the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains and is one of the largest urban parks, covering over 4000 acres. Earlier this year Griffith Park was in the news because a beautiful mountain lion named P22 made a koala his supper one March night. P22 first gained fame in 2013 after Steve Winter snapped an iconic photograph of the big cat with the Hollywood sign for National Geographic.
The land the Park sits on was originally owned by Welsh-born Colonel Griffith J. Griffith in the late 1800s, who made his money in the California Gold Rush. He originally used part of the land as an ostrich farm so he could sell the feathers, which were a popular addition to women’s hats. He also tried to sell the land to home builders but no one wanted the land, so he donated it to the City of Los Angeles in 1896.
In 1903, after a heavy drinking session, Colonel Griffith shot his wife while they were on vacation. While she did not die, she did lose her right eye. He was sentenced to two years in jail. After he was released, he wanted to develop the land he donated to the city, but they rebuffed him and his money due to his criminal past. The rest of his life, he spent designing the park and investing in architectural designs for several building he envisioned on the land. Upon his death in 1919, he bequeathed his designs and money to the city. The city built the Greek Theater and the Griffith Observatory to his specifications.
We made the drive up the mountain and spotted the iconic architecture of the Observatory. The park surrounding the Observatory is dog friendly, so we hopped out and took turns going inside.
Izzy and Nana enjoyed investigating the park surrounding the Observatory.
A large monument stands in the park area in front of the Observatory, called the Astronomers Monument. There are six astronomers on the Monument: Hipparchus, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and John Herschel. Atop the Monument is an armillary sphere, which was added in 1991 to replace a copper covered concrete sphere which had degraded.
We walked up the stairs on the outside of the building to look back at Mount Lee and the Hollywood sign.
Here is a closer view of the famous sign.
We turned around and looked out over the metropolis of Los Angeles.
The Observatory was opened in 1935 and has this stylish art deco entrance.
Above the entryway is this window protected by an awesome, decorative grill depicting different astronomy icons.
Upon entry into the Observatory, you are greeted by this massive Foucault pendulum, which demonstrates the rotation of Earth. (In case you were wondering, admission to the Observatory building, grounds, telescopes, and parking is always FREE!!!)
Here’s a GIF we made of the pendulum!
The main hall also has murals painted by Hugo Ballin which all have astronomical themes. One of the murals is on the ceiling of the dome and you can see the reflection of that mural in the pendulum.
Here is a picture of the ceiling mural painted inside the dome.
We enjoyed a brief tour of the exhibits from the Tesla Coil, to the Camera Obscura, and learning about the Sun. We didn’t have time to explore the lower level, which looks like lots of fun also!
We had a great time nerding out at the Griffith Observatory and especially enjoyed that it was completely FREE and dog friendly! We definitely recommend it if you are in Los Angeles and are interested in space!
Have you been to Griffith Observatory? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments below.