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Griffith Park Zoo makes for either an eerie or a fascinating sight depending on how you see it. Opened in 1912, the zoo had a successful run until 1966 when it was abandoned to make way for the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The deserted zoo is now dotted with small and big animal cases and picnic tables. Visitors can spend their time exploring the numerous hiking trails as well. The most popular path being the hike to Bee Rock from where you can enjoy great views of the environs. Alternatively, you could climb inside a monkey cage or have a picnic at one of the bear enclosures. The cages and the uncanny surrounding also gives you the chance to click some offbeat pictures.
Frank Lloyd Wright, a famed architect, built Hollyhock House for Aline Barnsdall in 1923. The heritage house was handed to the city in 1927, and has been home to many organizations over the years. Located within the environs of Barnsdall Park, the house is surrounded by galleries, studios and a theater and attracts scores of visitors. The quaint village of Los Feliz is a hop, skip and jump away. Tickets for the tours can be purchased at the Municipal Art Gallery.
The Philosophical Research Society is one of the most important institutes in the state that houses vast information on everything occult. The PRS, as it is called, was established by Manly Hall in 1934. Since then, it has been known to house books, magazines and other ephemera on topics ranging from the world's varied philosophies and religions to Satan worship and black magic. Boasting of some of the rarest books in the world, the Philosophical Research Society is sure to add a new dimension to your view of the paranormal and the occult.
Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round was built by the Spillman Engineering Company in the early 19th Century and was brought to the Griffith Park in 1937. This Merry-Go-Round is located at the center of the park and mounts 68 jumper horses, which are carefully carved and bejeweled. The animals jump to the tunes of the Stinson 165 Military Band Organ which plays over 1000 march tunes. The Merry-Go-Round welcomes children and adults, alike.
This iconic sign perched at the top of Mt. Lee is one of the most famous landmarks of California. The letters, standing at 50 feet each, can be seen from points all over Los Angeles, and originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND," an advertisement for a nearby housing community. Now a world-famous landmark, a hike up to a vista point nearby to view the sign is a must-do for anyone with some time to spare in Los Angeles. The sign itself is not accessible to visitors, and is surrounded by barriers, but incredible vistas are to be had from many points throughout the area.
While the skyline of Hollywood is largely unspectacular, Capitol Records Building is one of the few exceptions. At the urging of label artists Nat King Cole and Johnny Mercer, this 13-story building was built in 1954 as the highly successful record label's headquarters, near the fabled Hollywood and Vine intersection. A mural at the building's southern face pays tribute to some of its jazz greats including Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday while a flashing light at the top of the building spells out "H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D" to passing aircrafts.
This famous intersection in the heart of Hollywood has been a center of glamour and activity since the early days of film. The hottest nightclubs like the Brown Derby and Sardi's were located here as well as several studios which made this a center of the film industry. Many of the buildings at this intersection and nearby were constructed in the 1920s and 30s and of course the Walk of Fame stars are here at the intersection. Right on the corner lies a plaque dedicated to the stars of Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins of the 1969 Apollo XI trip to the moon.
Anyone longing for a piece of Tinseltown history should certainly spend some time at Whitley Heights. Some of the most impressive homes in Hollywood are found here. All of the homes were developed in the 20s and 30s by Hobart J. Whitley and remain in very good condition today. This was a mini-Beverly Hills of yesteryears, where stars like Marion Davies, Rudolph Valentino, Ethel Barrymore and many others lived and partied. Whitley, who had great admiration for Italian architecture, built these homes into the hillside and dubbed the community an "Italian Hill Town."