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Griifith Park Circa 1955

Former Site of the L.A. Zoo (Until 1965)

Former Site of the L.A. Zoo (Until 1965)

Today Martine and I spent a few hours in Griffith Park just northwest of Downtown L.A. First I showed her the site of the old Los Angeles Zoo before it was abandoned and moved to a larger site a little more than a mile north. The rockwork was done by the WPA during the 1930s and looked fairly artistic—probably more so than the current zoo, which we don’t like visiting because of the endless construction and consequent poor pedestrian traffic management.

The old zoo site is surrounded by pleasant picnic tables unknown to the mass of visitors. Unfortunately, they are known to the legions of yellowjackets that inhabit the canyon.

Afterwards, we went to the Travel Town Museum up the road about three miles. An open-air transport museum first opened in 1952, Travel Town features an extensive display of old locomotives, passenger and freight cars, cabooses, and related railroading equipment. There is even a little passenger train that runs around the park.

Steam Locomotive with Peeling Paint

Steam Locomotive with Peeling Paint

Although most of the rolling stock is in sad repair (see the peeling paint on the steam locomotive above), the park is popular with parents who want someplace to take their kids without spending a fortune. Sometimes I wonder how long a place like Travel Town can continue to exist without a massive infusion of cash, which is very unlikely to ever happen. It would be a pity, because the place was full of little reserved areas for children’s birthday parties, both outfoors and in some of the passenger cars.

In any case, Martine and I enjoyed ourselves.


2 thoughts on “Griifith Park Circa 1955

  1. I’m always amazed at all you see and do, Jim. Not only your trips, but taking advantage of local sites and mostly good weather. You must have excellent time management to fit it all in!

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