security first national bank


“They have brought the universe to Los Angeles.”

So began The Times’ May 15, 1935, article about the dedication of the Griffith Observatory. Weirdly it wasn’t front-page news when the planetarium was formally opened to the public 80 years ago today. The article quoted below ran on the front page of the newspaper’s second section.

With a crowd of 500 present, including scientists civic leaders and others prominent in the Southland, the new Griffith Observatory on the hills of Griffith Park, was formally opened and dedicated last night.

Relating how the late Griffith J. Griffith had hoped before his death to see the planetarium and observatory come into reality, Bruce H. Grigsby, vice-president of the Security-First National Bank, trustee of the Griffith estate, formally presented the observatory to the city.

The observatory was accepted in behalf of the city by Mayor Shaw.

“This magnificent structure will augment instruction and increase the knowledge of our citizens for generations to come,” the Mayor said.

“It is with the greatest happiness that I accept this gift on behalf of the citizens of Los Angeles and they may be sure that it is one this city will always cherish.”

This picture ran inside the main section (digital reproduction is of much poorer quality than the original):

The Times has more photos of Griffith Observatory in its early days: Griffith Observatory celebrates its 80th anniversary

Matt Ballinger

Photos: (Top) The observatory under construction, circa 1933. Credit: Los Angeles Times. (Bottom) The space shuttle is flown over the observatory in 2012. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times