Griffith Park History

News Briefs

Want to learn more about the city? Los Angeles History Politics and Culture, a 3-unit course, will be offered at Glendale College on Saturday afternoons for the Fall '98 semester. Click the graphic at left for details.

LaBonge Hike Set for June 20

Dante's view keeper Tom LaBonge invites one and all to hike from the Charlie Turner Trailhead at the far end of the Observatory Parking Lot to the top of Mt. Hollywood. The next hike--which will celebrate the coming of summer--will be on Saturday, June 20 at 6 p.m.. Click here for details on these always-enjoyable hikes.

Griffith Park Celebrates the Holiday Season

Griffith Park's Winter Holiday Celebration will occur during the weekend of Dec. 6 and 7. The event will run both days from noon-9 p.m. at the southeast corner of the park, near the intersection of Los Feliz Boulevard and Riverside Drive. The highlight of the celebration will be the largest tree lighting ceremony in any city park. There will also be music, live performances, an arts and crafts area for children and a Christmas tree-decorating contest. The Griffith Park and Southern Railroad (located nearby) will also be running its special night train to Santa Claus.

Also beginning the weekend of Dec. 6 and 7, Crystal Springs Drive from the Ranger Station to the Zoo will be turned into a festival of lights. Although most people drive the mile-long stretch, I recommend that you park your car in the Zoo parking lot and walk through the Festival of Lights along the bridle path.

Beginning Dec. 12, the Griffith Observatory will present its annual holiday-themed planetarium show, "The Christmas Star." The show will run through New Year's Day.

Mulholland Fountain Rededicated

The William Mulholland Memorial Fountain, long a landmark adjacent to the Los Feliz Boulevard-Riverside Drive entrance to Griffith Park, was rededicated in a nostalgia-filled ceremony co-hosted by the Department of Water and Power and the Los Feliz Improvement Association on Nov. 14, 1996. The fountain, which isn't actually in Griffith Park but is often associated with it, became known for the brightly-colored lights that played upon the water spouts after nightfall. I walked around the renovated fountain with my wife and little boy one evening not long after the rededication; it was even more beautiful than I remember. The changing water spouts and colors particularly captivated my son, then age 3 1/2, who didn't want to leave. I predict that the Mulholland Fountain will regain its place as one of the city's top civic monuments.

Colonel Griffith Statue Dedicated

On Saturday, Nov. 23, 1996 the Griffith Trust and the Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated a larger-than-life bronze statue of Col. Griffith J. Griffith. The Colonel is immortalized at the Los Feliz Boulevard/Riverside Drive entrance to the park. He donated about three-quarters of the park's acreage and most of the funding for the Griffith Observatory and Greek Theatre.

Did You Help Make a Movie in Griffith Park?

Los Angeles resident and park enthusiast Bernadette Soter is doing research on moviemaking in the park. She's interested in talking with anyone who participated in front of or behind the camera. She can be reached by phone at 213/663-6193 or by mail at Soter and Associates, 3015 Glendale Boulevard, Suite 200, Los Angeles, 90039.

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