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Rare Photos Reveal Griffith Observatory Under Construction

Peter Z. Scheer
Managing Editor
Peter Scheer grew up in the newspaper business, spending family vacations with his mother at newspaper editors' conferences, enjoying daycare in editorial departments and begrudgingly reviewing his father's…
Peter Z. Scheer

The observatory that sits atop Griffith Park is one of Los Angeles’ most beautiful treasures, both because of its art deco looks and dazzling views of the city below.

The University of Southern California has been digitizing photos from the “Dick” Whittington studio, and librarians came across these rare images of the observatory under construction.

Although budding metropolises make poor sites for observatories because of light pollution, Griffith Observatory was conceived by Col. Griffith J. Griffith as a way of bringing astronomy to the public, to whom he donated the land. Construction didn’t begin for decades, until 1933, when the Works Progress Administration made it happen. Today, it’s one of L.A.’s more popular tourist attractions, and one that (unlike, say, the Walk of Fame) actually merits the visit.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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