Press Release: Griffith Park Celebrates 125 Years with a Free Parkwide Exploration of Significant Structures and Sites
LOS ANGELES, October 6, 2021—The Los Angeles Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and City of Los Angeles Council District 4, is pleased to present a day-long open-house-style event on Saturday, November 13, 2021, celebrating the 125th anniversary of Los Angeles’s beloved historic resource, Griffith Park: https://www.laconservancy.org/GriffithPark125.
In 1896, Colonel Griffith J. Griffith and his wife Mary Agnes Christine donated over 3,000 acres of former ranch land to the City of Los Angeles, “to be used as a public park for purposes of recreation, health, and pleasure, for the use and benefit of inhabitants of the said City of Los Angeles, forever.”
Even at the national level, Griffith Park is unique for possessing a large-scale, mostly untouched landscape in the center of an urban metropolis. It is home to multiple cultural organizations and landmarks such as the Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Merry-Go-Round, the Greek Theatre, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the Griffith Observatory. Significant moments in Los Angeles’s life have played out on the land that forms Griffith Park; it has housed Tongva villages, served as a site of protest in the fight for civil rights, a shelter for native plants and wildlife, and been the backdrop in hundreds of films.
For all these reasons and more, Griffith Park was designated a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) in 2009, which formally recognizes its significance and safeguards its long-term preservation.
An estimated 10 million people visit Griffith Park each year, most of them Angelenos and many unaware of its extraordinary history, biodiversity, or the buildings, people, and entities connected to it.
To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the L.A. Conservancy and local partners invite the public to explore the nooks and crannies of Griffith Park and to learn about its past, present, and future.
Here’s How It Will Work:
On Saturday, November 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., volunteer educators from 30 different organizations will be dispersed throughout Griffith Park to share the stories of specific sites.
Eventgoers can download a map showing the sites available to visit in advance of the event on the L.A. Conservancy’s website: laconservancy.org/GriffithPark125, or they can pick up a physical map in the park on November 13th. The map will double as a passport booklet: participants can collect stamps at each site they visit.
No reservations or tickets are required; eventgoers are free to roam the park at will, choosing the sites they’d like to visit based on their interests and abilities. Masks are required when visiting indoor facilities at Griffith Park.
The event’s central hub will be located near the Merry-Go-Round, where eventgoers can enjoy food trucks, educational activities, entertainment, and more. Maps will be available at this location. Special opportunities to tour the historic Greek Theatre and access the Autry Museum’s Investigating Griffith Park exhibit, as well as theatrical performances, panel discussions, and book readings by local author Casey Schreiner and others will also be available.
A special birthday ceremony at 11:30 a.m. near the Merry-Go-Round will include remarks from Council District 4 Councilmember Nithya Raman and Tongva Cultural Educator and Artist Craig Torres, and a cake-cutting.
“Griffith Park is a dynamic, invaluable treasure of our City,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman, “It could be independently celebrated for any of its incredible offerings — gorgeous parkland and terrain, environmental importance, a vibrant cultural scene — but what is most inspiring to me is, even with the sum of these parts, it remains open and accessible to Angelenos near and far. I’m honored to take this joyous occasion to learn and recommit to preserving this wonderful piece of Los Angeles.”
Organizations and individuals participating in the day are Antaeus Theatre Company, Autry Museum of the American West, Carolwood Foundation, Friends of Griffith Park, Friends of Los Angeles River, the Greek Theatre, Griffith J. Griffith Charitable Trust, Griffith Park Pony Rides & Petting Zoo, Griffith Park Train Rides, Griffith Observatory, Hancock Park Garden Club, Hollywood Sign Trust, Independent Shakespeare Company Los Angeles, Los Angeles City Golf, LA Compost, Los Angeles Conservancy, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles Live Steamers Museum, Los Angeles Parks Foundation, Los Angeles Zoo, Modern Hiker creator Casey Schreiner, Narrated Objects, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, Park Rangers, Sierra Club, Tongva Cultural Educator and Artist Craig Torres, Travel Town Transportation Museum.
Eventgoers are encouraged to use public transportation to access Griffith Park and to move from site to site within it. To learn more about public transportation at Griffith Park, visit https://www.laparks.org/griffithpark/.
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will provide bike route options, to be posted on their website https://www.la-bike.org/.
About the Los Angeles Conservancy
The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. What began as a volunteer group in 1978 now has nearly 5,000 member households, the largest membership of any local preservation organization in the U.S. Learn more at laconservancy.org.