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Photos: Get A Rare 1930s Glimpse Into Griffith Observatory's First Moments

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Griffith Observatory has been an iconic Los Angeles landmark for over 75 years, and there is good reason why. With its planetarium shows and breathtaking cinematic views of the city, the observatory has been a fixture in studying astronomy ever since Griffith Jenkins Griffith—dubbed "Colonel Griffith"—had the dream to make science more accessible to the public.

We get a peek into the history of the construction of the observatory before its doors were opened to the public in 1935 through a USC Library photography project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The library came across these vintage snapshots through digitizing nearly 40,000 negatives from the collection of L.A.-based photographer Dick Whittington.

Groundbreaking for Griffith Observatory commenced in 1933, according to its website. The strong framework of the structure was due to a number of events in play, including the lower-than-normal prices of high-quality construction materials as a direct outgrowth of The Great Depression.

From the skeletal framework of the planetarium dome to the final moments of completion, these photos give a haunting look at this landmark with a new set of eyes.