GRIFFITH PARK— On Thursday, June 1, the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners approved a donation from the non-profit Los Angeles Parks Foundation (LAPF) of 9.71 acres of vacant land to expand Griffith Park. The land – located off of Mount Lee Drive near Mount Chapel Trail and the Hollywood sign – will be “preserved as open space for Los Angelenos to enjoy,” LAPF indicated in a statement.
“The addition of this property would expand the CITY park system and add additional open space and trail connections for the use of enjoyment of residents and visitors,” the city documents read.
The rectangular piece of land – originally purchased by Hollywood studio magnate Howard Hughes for $20,758 in 1957– was one of the last privately-owned, open spaces within the park.
LAPF eventually purchased the land for $175,000, The Los Angeles Daily News reported. That money was raised through donations, including a $40,000 donation by the office of L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Ramen and other contributions made by Friends of Griffith Park, West Valley Alliance for Optimal Living, The Sikand Foundation and Robert and Joan Young (Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Guggenheim). A recent appraisal of the land determined that it’s now valued at $180,000, according to city documents.
LAPF is set to pay up to $5,000 in closing costs and the city is expected to close escrow on the property within 90 days.
Griffith Park – already with over 4,210 acres – is considered to be one of the biggest municipal parks with urban wilderness areas in the United States.