City Designates 4,217-Acre Historical Monument

LOS ANGELES -- More than 100 years after Col. Griffith J. Griffith donated thousands of acres to the city of Los Angeles to create one of the largest urban parks in the country, city officials Thursday designated Griffith Park an historic monument.

Griffith Park totals 4,217 acres and includes the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory and the Greek Theatre. The monument status allows the Cultural Heritage Commission to review construction plans that may adversely impact historic buildings and delay the issuance of a demolition permit for up to 360 days.

"This park is the greatest gift ever given to the city of Los Angeles," said Councilman Tom LaBonge. "Without it, our city would have no soul."

In December 1896, Griffith and his wife donated 3,015 acres of Los Feliz Rancho to the city. Griffith later donated another 1,000 acres along the Los Angeles River.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved monument status for the park in January. However, major parts of the park were exempted -- the Los Angeles Zoo, Autry National Center, Toyon Canyon Landfill, Marty Tregnan Gold Academy, Roosevelt Municipal Golf Course and the freeways and ramps that cut through the area.

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