The Griffith Observatory Expansion and Renovation

Kenneth N. Wong, SE

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Since its opening in 1935, the Griffith Observatory has been one of the most cherished cultural icons of the City of Los Angeles. Perched on the south face of Mount Hollywood and overlooking nearly the entire Los Angeles basin, the Observatory hosts more than 2 million visitors a year and is a leading venue for informal scientific education for both children and adults. This paper describes the first major renovation of the Observatory since its original construction.

  • New meeting rooms and classrooms, including a 200-seat auditorium/lecture hall,
  • An outdoor dining terrace overlooking the west slope of Mt. Hollywood,
  • New administrative offices beneath the Planetarium theater,
  • A “wormhole” or tunnel beneath the center of the building, connecting the new exhibit space with the basement lobby;
  • An outdoor mechanical platform on the east face of the mountain, hidden from public view.

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