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Hollywood Sign
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Hollywood Sign

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2004 - 2017.


The world famous Hollywood Sign sits atop Mount Lee, the tallest peak in Los Angels. Originally erected in 1923 as an advertising sign for a real estate development in Beachwood Canyon, the sign originally said, "Hollywoodland." Over the years, various letter fell and the sign once read, ollywoodland." The sign was shortened to "Hollywood" in 1945.

The sign was originally built for $21,000. The Sign measures 450 feet long, the original letters were 30 feet wide and 45 feet tall. The sign now measures 450 feet across and 50 feet tall. The letters are covered with low wattage light bulbs, 4,000 altogether, which were originally changed daily by a caretaker who lived in a small house behind one of the Sign's giant "L's." . The original Sign was expected to last a year and a half.

Maintenance of the Sign was discontinued in 1939 and in 1944, the M. H. Sherman Company, developers of the Hollywoodlands, turned of to the City of Los Angeles about 455 acres of land adjoining Griffith Park, which included the Sign. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce entered into a contract with the Department of Recreation and Parks to repair and rebuild the Sign, removing "land" from the end of the sign.

The sign had deteriorated badly until it was in sorry shape. Finally in 1978, the sign completely rebuilt with funds collected from citizens and celebrities who sponsored each letter at $27,700 each. Work to rebuild the Sign began in August of 1978 and was finished by November and was unveiled November 14, 1978. Primary responsibility for the maintenance and preservation of the Sign rests with the Hollywood Sign Trust who's trustees are named by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the City of Los Angeles.

In 1932, Peg Entwistle, a despondent young actress, jumped to her death from the Sign's giant letter "H."

Sign was declared a Los Angeles Cultural Historical Monument #111 in 1973 by the Cultural Heritage Board of the City of Los Angeles.

Getting there:
There is no easy way to reach the Sign, which is located atop an undeveloped hillside, far from roads. Various roads and trail in and around Griffith Park do allow closer views. The Sign itself is fenced and equipped with an alarm system. The sign is visible from most of the Hollywood area. The best way to see the Hollywood Sign closer is to drive up Beachwood Drive (north of Hollywood Boulevard). The Sign is clearly visible along most of Beachwood. To reach Beachwood Drive from Hollywood & Vine, take Hollywood Boulevard east (a quarter mile), to Gower Street. Turn left (north) up Gower (three blocks, under the freeway) to Franklin Avenue. Turn right (east) on Franklin, then immediately turn left (north) up Beachwood Drive, into the hills. To reach Beachwood Drive from the Hollywood (101) Freeway, take the Gower Street exit, then turn right (north) up Beachwood Drive. A trail leaves from the Griffith Observatory parking lot and allows some closer views.
From Griffith Observatory
From Griffith Observatory. Photo date: 9-25-04.
From Hollywood Boulevard
From Hollywood Boulevard. Photo date: 1-1-05.

Photo date: 2-2-05.

Photo date: 2-2-05.
Photo date: 2-2-05.


As seen from Sunset Gower Studios (former Columbia).

As viewed from the new BCAM at LACMA, photo date: 2-14-08.

As viewed from Barnsdall Art Park in July 2016.

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This page last updated: Monday, 13-Feb-2017 21:46:35 EST

Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.

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