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Griffith Park finally gets its due

October 30, 2008 |  3:53 pm

Observatory It was a big day for Griffith Park boosters today. The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission decided today that the park should receive historic-cultural monument status.

The commission voted 3 to 1 to forward the park's application to the City Council, which must give final approval for the designation.

At 4,218 acres, Griffith Park would be the nation's largest historic monument. It was donated to the city 112 years ago by Col. Griffith Jenkins Griffith, who stipulated that the land be public open space for recreation and relaxation.

The colonel's great-grandson Griffith Van Griffith applied for the designation earlier this year, citing the need to prevent commercial development and to preserve the park as his great-grandfather intended.

"I'm very happy," Griffith said in a phone interview after the commission's decision. "[My great-grandfather] would be ecstatic.... He didn't want to turn it into an amusement park. I just want it to be like any other normal neighborhood park.... Where else can you go and get away in the middle of the city?"

Earlier coverage of the monument battle.

-- Joanna Lin

Photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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