Griffith Observatory: Jewel of Los Angeles
Griffith Observatory is, with little doubt, one of Los Angeles’ crown jewels. A bolder writer might even suggest that no visit to the City of Angels could be considered complete without a substantial stop at this hilltop oasis. Far above the din and dirt of the city, Griffith Observatory is an escape–for tourists and locals alike–that feels decidedly apart yet inextricably a part of the urban metropolis to which it belongs.
Nestled within Griffith Park, the observatory is one of those places you could visit multiple times because you could always find something new to discover on each occasion. Visiting it on my first day in L.A., under steely skies characteristic of southern California’s June gloom, I wandered around the grounds, hiking along nearby trails while viewing the observatory itself from a distance. I returned on the following day to satisfy the nagging sensation that I’d had only a glimpse of the observatory and hadn’t really experienced it yet.
On the second day I lucked out. The sun cut through the early morning cloud cover like a knife, revealing some of the bluest skies I’d seen during my visit to L.A. The bright, warm SoCal sun shone down on the impressive building, throwing its architectural details into stark relief.
I’ll admit it: I went a little camera crazy, wanting to capture everything.
As an armchair architecture enthusiast, I was drawn to the intricacies of the observatory’s art deco style. The subtle tension between curve and line, disrupting familiar expectations. Twelve-sided door panels, clock-like, echoing the circular and linear properties of time. Gentle arches carved into buttresses. The twin copper tile-topped domes of the observatory’s telescopes, turned a dark, earthy green. And more than anything, the symmetry of it all.
What a gem.
Have you been to Griffith Observatory? What was your favorite thing about it?