The History of the Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign is celebrating it's 100th birthday this year! Below is a history of the Sign
The Hollywood Sign is an iconic symbol of the entertainment industry and the city of Los Angeles, California. Its history dates back to the early 20th century, and it has undergone several transformations and restorations over the years. Here is an overview of the history of the Hollywood Sign:
Early Beginnings (1923): The story of the Hollywood Sign begins in 1923 when a real estate developer named Harry Chandler, who was also the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, along with his partner, M. H. Sherman, invested in the construction of a housing development known as "Hollywoodland." The sign was originally constructed as a real estate advertisement for this upscale suburban development.
The Original Sign: The original Hollywoodland Sign was made of 13 letters, each illuminated with approximately 4,000 light bulbs. It was perched on the Hollywood Hills and served its purpose as a promotional tool for the housing development.
Maintenance and Decline: Over the years, the sign fell into disrepair. By the 1940s, the "LAND" portion of the sign had been removed due to deterioration. Additionally, the sign faced the threat of being completely demolished.
Renovation (1978): In 1978, Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, organized a fundraiser to restore the Hollywood Sign. Celebrities and residents of Los Angeles contributed to the restoration efforts. The sign was repaired and rebuilt, with the "LAND" section removed, and it became the property of the City of Los Angeles.
Iconic Status: The Hollywood Sign gained iconic status over the decades, symbolizing the entertainment industry and the glamour of Hollywood. It has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and advertisements.
Security Measures: Due to its fame, the sign has also been the target of pranks and vandalism over the years. To deter such activities, security measures have been put in place, including cameras and alarms.
Restorations and Alterations: The sign has undergone several restorations and alterations to keep it in good condition. In 2012, the sign received a significant facelift with new paint and steel to ensure its structural integrity.
Protection and Preservation: The Hollywood Sign is now a protected historic landmark, and efforts are made to preserve its cultural significance and physical condition. The surrounding Griffith Park and the Griffith Observatory offer excellent vantage points to view the sign.
Today, the Hollywood Sign stands as a globally recognized symbol of the entertainment industry and the city of Los Angeles. It continues to draw tourists from around the world who want to catch a glimpse of this iconic piece of American history and pop culture.