As seen in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and ROCKETEER and too many movies to list — the fabulous observatory designed by the architectural firm of John C. Austin and Frederic M. Ashley — completed 1935:







Physicist Leon Hall explaining the Cosmochron Clock of the Ages, 1938:

Sculpting the Moon’s surface, 1939:

The Observatory by night, 1940:

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  1. August 26, 2012

    Like many an Angeleno, this place is a source of awe and pride. And you’re so right about the numerous times the observatory has been used in film. This would be one of my favorites, from Devil in a Blue Dress:


    • August 26, 2012

      Thank you — great movie, great location! Just got home from another Los Angeles tradition, Sunday dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley 😉

  2. August 26, 2012

    ‘The Observatory by night’ is now my wallpaper. Love from London.

    • August 26, 2012

      It really does look like the city of dreams, enjoy.

  3. August 27, 2012

    I love the picture looking up the car and palm-lined avenue to the observatory on the hill. It is such a beautiful icon, isn’t it.

    • August 27, 2012

      There are still places in Los Angeles that take my breath away, and the observatory is one of them.

  4. February 23, 2013

    Can you believe it? I have never ever ever been up there!!

    • February 23, 2013

      Oh, I know exactly when we’ll take care of that – perhaps in a cloud of Chanel #5?

  5. March 22, 2013

    Wonderful pictures.Hugely impressive building of great dignity.Hard to beat the black and white medium for this masterpiece.If I ever visit America I must see this.

  6. Danielle
    November 3, 2014

    Thank you so much for this post! I know it is from last year, but I’ve just stumbled upon it. I wonder if you have any more information you could share about the photo of Leon Hall and the Clock of the Ages? Who is the woman, for instance, and was this an early exhibit at the Observatory?

    • November 3, 2014

      Hello Danielle, I don’t know who the woman is but Leon Hall was a physicist who worked at the observatory and developed and installed the exhibits—including the fabulous Clock of Ages. This early exhibit included a narration of evolution which fulfilled a request made by Colonel Griffith (the guy who willed the park to the city). Thanks for stopping by!

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