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ELENA HUTCHINSON


O O Z S e E h t L f E site o G N A S O L OLD


This

Griffith Pa

CITY’S ZOO

CANYO

rk

N ARE served a A s the f r o m i t s

foundi ng in 19 12 to 19 when th 65 e LO S ANG ELES Z OO moved

to its curren t locat io

about t wo mil es

n

Many o f the W grottos, and oth A er

ENCLOS

URES

NORTH OF WH E

L L S you ,

CURRE

see

were

built

by COU N

RE YOU

NTLY S TAND

ARE

ING.

today

in the 1930

T Y REL

IEF wor kers a n d

WORKS PROGRE SS A (WPA) C DMINISTRATION R

EWS.

s


e r e H Lived


and the sounds of their

GROWLS,

ROARS, and

CLAMOR

f

i l l

e

d

t h i s

c a

n y o

n


Although these historic enclosures

are no longer

appropriate for housing

ANIMALS, they can be

HOME to

memories of family visits

at the

Griffith Park Zoo, as well as an

opportunity

to better understand developments in the

ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCES.


Please

enjoy and

RESPECT the BUILDINGS,

w a l l s ,

you

a n d

h a b i t a t s

discover

today.


The old zoo at Griffith park is a strong mixture of eerie and cool. It’s the kind of place that has been abandoned by time and transformed into a site of empty rusting cages: some locked, some open, some broken. Smells of overgrown weeds and grass fight to overpower scents of dried piss soaking up the concrete corners. One imagines what once was that will never be again; and I am pierced by a chill of melancholia for what this place has become. Once inhabited by animal life, surrounded by echoes of human life, children’s laughter, cotton candy, peanuts, music; is now forgotten, grim, used up and left to rot, tucked away behind bushes and robust trees. One of the most consuming of human fears is to one day be forgotten, left to die alone, unloved; and visiting the old zoo brings up these fears with a dose of acceptance for the natural impermanence of things. It is this very conundrum of nostalgia, melancholy and bitter (though graceful) acceptance, that makes the old zoo so cool to revisit. It is pleasantly distracting if you are running through it on your morning workout. Astonishingly striking if you are doing a photo shoot on its grounds; and creepily romantic to come with a date; bringing up interesting topics of conversation inspired by the bizarre.


I was just not impressed.

The trail is not bad at all, but the view is of the valley.

Snore. Also, there is like

2 SECONDS of

ZOO ACTION I set my expectations too high.

I

w o n ’ t

g o

b a c k .


ght to u o f e v a L must h TY COUNCI

Okayo, me cool bloke on the CI s

is place keep th . ALIVE

Who doesn’t love to spend a day c

l

i

m

b

i

n

g

900s? e early 1 th m o d zoo fr TIME... andone up ANY e m at an ab n ig S


Enter Griffith Park and head towards the Merry-Go-Round. There’s a sign at the second 3-way stop which directs you up the hill toward the golf courses. The sign also says “Old Zoo Picnic Area.” Go up the hill, over the bumpy cross-walk at the “Turf Management Station” parking lot (the giant playground area should be on your left). Stay straight as you approach the curve in the road, putting you on a smaller, rougher road, with cars parked along the grassy area. Follow that road as far up as you can. Parking can be tough on the weekends. At the top of the parking area, there’s a long walkway and a separate stairway hidden amongst the trees. Find these and you’ll be on your way into the mystifying, hidden area of Griffith Park that once housed wild animals from around the world...


ABSENCE

ELENA HUTCHINSON


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