Location: Mount Lee, Griffith Park, south of Cahuenga Peak
Year erected: 1923
Designed by: Thomas Fisk Goff, the Crescent Sign Company
Original purpose: temporary advertisement for the Hollywoodland real estate development
Year Restored with steel letters: 1978
Height of each letter: 45 feet
Letter width: 31-39 feet
FROM HOLLYWOODLAND TO HOLLYWOOD
The Hollywood Sign with Cahuenga Peak in the background has become one of the best-known civic symbols in the world. Built in 1923 as a temporary advertisement for publisher Harry Chandler's Hollywoodland real estate development, it has three times been restored or refurbished--including in 1978 at a cost of $250,000--because it is such a potent symbol of the entertainment industry, LA, and the Southern California way of life.
The original Hollywoodland Sign was studded with some 4000 light bulbs, but these were dropped along with the final four letters during a cursory reconstruction project in 1949. Continued deterioration over the next decades finally led to 1978's large public restoration campaign. Nine sponsors--one for each letter--donated nearly $28,000 each, including cowboy singer Gene Autry, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner and rock legend Alice Cooper.
On November 14, 1978, Hollywood's 75th anniversary, a television audience of more than 60 million people viewed the unveiling of the reborn Hollywood Sign, newly painted and starkly white against the pristine background of Cahuenga Peak.
THE SIGN TODAY
Today, the sign is located in Griffith Park and owned by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. It is maintained, repaired, and secured by the state-authorized Hollywood Sign Trust, a nonprofit organization that also educates the world about the sign's historical and cultural importance.
In hopes of achieving a similar level of protection for the sign's backdrop, The Trust for Public Land has acquired a limited-time option to acquire Cahuenga Peak for protection as an addition to Griffith Park. Without this protection, the peak is likely to be developed and the sign's backdrop spoiled forever.
Please help protect the view of the Hollywood Sign. Donate today.