AKA: Griffith Park Observatory and Samuel Oshin Planetarium, Los Angeles

Structure Type: built works - exhibition buildings - planetariums

Designers: Austin and Ashley, Architects (firm); Hardy, Holzman, Pfeiffer, Architects (HHPA) (firm); Levin and Associates, Architects (firm); McKay Conant Brook (MCB), Incorporated (firm); Frederic M. Ashley (architect); John Corneby Wilson Austin (architect); Hugo Ballin (artist/muralist); Brook (acoustical engineer); David Conant (acoustical engineer/architect); Archibald Garner (sculptor); Hugh Gelston Hardy (architect); Malcolm Holzman (architect); Brenda A. Levin (architect); Ronald L. McKay (acoustical engineer/architect); Norman Henry Pfeiffer (architect)

Dates: constructed 1934-1935

2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027-1255

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Located in Griffith Park; Gebhard and Winter Guide, 1994, cites address as "Western Canyon Road.

Building History

This observatory atop Mount Hollywood was built with money bequeathed by Col. Griffith J. Griffith (d. 1919), a local landowner. Griffith donated half of his ranch's land to the City of Los Angeles on which Griffith Park was created.

Building Notes

The Obelisk to the north of the Griffith Park observatory contained sculptures of the astronomers Hipparchus, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Herschel executed by the artist, Archibald Garner in 1934; interior murals were done by Hugo Ballin, 1935; the central dome housed a large planetarium, the east dome contained a 300 mm. Zeiss refractor telescope of 5 meters focal length and a coelostat in the west dome.


Renovated 2002-2005 by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, later known as Pfeiffer Partners; the planetarium was renamed the Samuel Oshin Planetarium.

PCAD id: 912

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