45 Photos - Sep 15, 2013
Photo: Friday, May 14, 2010, Griffith Observatory celebrated its 75 birthday! I couldn’t miss it. So after work, I took a bus from my office in Echo Park and arrived near Griffith Park. After short walk through city streets, a saunter through the tropical gardens of Ferndell, and a hike up Western Canyon, I arrived at the famed observatory. What a special place on a special day.Photo: The adventure begins - Disembark from the Metro 757 at Western and Franklin at 4:26 p.m., about a quarter mile from Griffith Park.

See my Griffith Observatory hike description: http://www.simpsoncity.com/hiking/griffith/ferndell.htmlPhoto: Entering Griffith Park - Begin my walk up Fern Dell Drive off Los Feliz Blvd.Photo: Ferndell gardens - Now in the park, I take a quarter mile stroll through the exotic gardens of Ferndell at the southern end of Western Canyon.Photo: Ferndell gardens - One of the among 50 species of ferns in the gardenPhoto: Ferndell gardens - A very pleasant strollPhoto: Ferndell gardens - The path crosses under the narrow bridge on Fern Dell Drive.Photo: Heading north through Ferndell picnic area. I get glimpses of the observatory high on the eastern slope. I’m getting excited.Photo: Now on the trail ascending north in Western Canyon. Mt. Hollywood stands on the skyline in front of me.Photo: View south from the upper reaches of Western CanyonPhoto: Nearing Mt. Hollywood Drive in Western Canyon and the look-out terrace visit pointPhoto: Sunflower - Spring flowers abound.Photo: Approaching a vista point overlooking Western Canyon and beyondPhoto: View south from the vista point toward the grand Griffith Observatory on its 75th anniversaryPhoto: On the segment of trail above Mt. Hollywood Drive. Mt. Hollywood looms above.Photo: Approaching the bridge that passes over the tunnel on Vermont Canyon Road.Photo: View east toward Hogback Peak from Mt. Hollywood Trail where it crosses the Vermont bridge high to the north of the observatoryPhoto: Descending south through the Berlin Forest—a gift from our sister city in GermanyPhoto: Final approach nearing Griffith Observatory. Getting excited!Photo: Charlie Turner Trailhead - Arriving at the observatory parking lotPhoto: Looking west out over Western CanyonPhoto: Celebrating 75 years - Millions of visitors have come through these doors. Groundbreaking occurred on June 20, 1933 (on my dad’s 13th birthday), with the William Simpson Construction Company as the builder.Photo: View north toward Mt. Hollywood from the observatory front lawnPhoto: The grand building is styled in Art Deco architecture by architects John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley.Photo: Gottlieb Transit Corridor - a 150-foot-long, 10-foot-wide glass-walled passageway, immerses visitors in the motions of the Sun, Moon, and stars across the sky and demonstrates how these motions are linked with time and the calendarPhoto: Hazy skies caused from a marine layer today obscure what can be spectacular clear-day views of Los Angeles.Photo: Zeiss telescope - Since opening in 1935, more than seven million people have put an eye to the 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope. More people have looked though it than any other telescope in the world.Photo: View north from the observatory roof toward 1625-foot Mt. Hollywood. The huge new addition to the observatory lies beneath this lawn.Photo: Visitors view a model of the observatory.Photo: Happy birthday Griffith Observatory! Birthday balloons attached to the copper cupola over the central rotundaPhoto: Observing the sun - Looking west toward the solar telescopes domePhoto: Most famous dome in L.A. - The copper dome over the planetarium was restored during the $93-million renovation that was completed in 2007.Photo: Show time! Visitors line up for the planetarium show.Photo: Looking east on the observatory rooftop. The San Gabriel Mountains grace the horizon.Photo: Rooftop views - Western Canyon lies far below, where I began my saunter up Ferndell.Photo: Yours truly! I can say I was there!Photo: View west toward Mt. Lee and the Hollywood sign from the Gottlieb Transit CorridorPhoto: Saturn - Inside the Gunther Depths of Space Exhibits [Note: the real Saturn is too big to fit into the building.]Photo: Diamond Jubilee – Celebrating 75 years!Photo: The setting sun was playing hide and seek behind the marine layer.Photo: Sunset ceremony - Dr. E.C. Krupp, observatory directory, leads a sunset ceremony on the West Observation Terrace as part of the festivities.Photo: The crowd joins Dr. Krupp in a singing happy birthday to the observatory - 75 years old.Photo: Guests look through 11-inch telescopes set up on the front grounds, which is a regular activity at the observatory. This one is trained on Saturn.Photo: Twilight at Griffith ObservatoryPhoto: Griffith Observatory - 75 years! Everything is set for the 8:35 p.m. birthday celebration on the front steps with Dr. Krupp and Councilman Tom LaBonge. This was the last shot before my camera battery died. A couple minutes later I introduced myself to Mr. LaBonge and thanked him for his work in championing Griffith Park. When the ceremony concluded at 8:45, I scampered down East Observatory Trail 0.75 mile to Vermont Canyon Road, then another half mile to Los Feliz Blvd. to catch a Metro 181 at 9:20, the last bus to get me to Sierra Madre Villa in time to catch the last Foothill 187 home. What a fun evening!
See my Griffith Observatory hike description: http://www.simpsoncity.com/hiking/griffith/ferndell.html