Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Seeing the Sign

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Sometimes, here on this blog or other places on the site, we talk about preservation/preservationists.

And, in fact, the topic sometimes seems as controversial as gay marriage, abstinence-only education, and cats versus dogs.

In that vein, I thought I'd mention a recent NYT story about some preservationists trying to buy the land behind the Hollywood sign to keep development from happening there.


To make their case, they began on Thursday to drape the sign with a banner that will read “Save the Peak” in the hope that a day or two without their most recognized civic symbol will entice Los Angelenos to donate the final $5 million needed by spring to keep mansions from dotting the ridge line around it.

“This is, for us, like the Statue of Liberty in New York or the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco,” said Tom LaBonge, a councilman whose district includes the section of Hollywood with the sign. “People land at LAX and they want to see the Hollywood sign. If that mountain that surrounds it were filled with mansions, it would ruin the view and ruin the free spirit of Los Angeles.”

The Hollywood sign began as an advertisement for the Hollywoodland housing project. More than 20 years later, the chamber of commerce repaired the "H" and removed the "land." It was still 20 years after that the sign was designated a landmark.

It just goes to show it's funny what people can start to love, or what kinds of buildings and structures denote a place best. Even if they don't say it explicitly with 50 feet tall letters.


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