Exciting and wonderful things are happening in Griffith Park! The Griffith J. Griffith Charitable Trust has submitted a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) application to designate the park a monument! The application itself was signed by Van Griffith, the great grandson of Griffith J. Griffith who along with his wife Tina deeded the land to the City of Los Angeles on Christmas Day in 1896. What a Christmas gift!
In Griffith Park, ca 1900
Colonel Griffith anticipated the growth of Los Angeles and the need for a public park accessible to all. He stated that “Sunlight and air are the first requisites of sanity and health…public parks are a safety valve of great cities and should be made accessible and attractive…give nature a chance to do her good work and nature will give every person a greater strength in health, strength and mental power.” See what a walk in the park will do for you!
The Trust hired the well-respected consulting firm of ICF Jones & Stokes to complete the application. They identified 37 historically sensitive resources and areas. Five of those already have individual monument designation: Feliz Adobe, “Little Nugget” railcar, Fern Dell Gabrielino Indian site, Griffith Observatory, and the Hollywood Sign. The other historically significant areas identified include the Wilson & Harding Golf Club House, the Merry-Go-Round, Bronson Caves, the “Park Style” retaining walls and culverts, and the wilderness area.
Many who love the park and spend a great deal of time in it feel that this Historic-Cultural Monument designation is long overdue. Other city parks such as Echo Park, Wattles Park, Macarthur Park, and our own Barnsdall Art Park are already so designated yet Griffith Park is even more historic. Some are concerned that such a designation means that no changes could be made in the park. This is not true; it simply means that the proposed change must be reviewed by the Cultural Heritage Commission first. An excellent example is the recent renovation and expansion of the Griffith Observatory which has been a Historic-Cultural Monument for many years.
The Board of Directors of the Los Feliz Improvement Association voted unanimously to support the nomination. Won’t you please join LFIA in supporting Griffith Park’s nomination as a Historic-Cultural Monument? Please write letters of support to:
Cultural Heritage Commission
City Hall, Room 272
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The commissioners are: Richard Barron, President, Glen C. Dake, Mia Lehrer, Oz Scott, and Roella H. Louie.