Your Experience is being rendered.
Click the [Live] button if the Experience does not load in few moments.
Do you know that the sign originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND," and its purpose was to advertise a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Real estate developers Woodruff and Shoults called their development "Hollywoodland" and advertised it as a "superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills."
They contracted the Crescent Sign Company to erect thirteen letters on the hillside, each facing south. The sign company owner, Thomas Fisk Goff (1890-1984) designed the sign. Each letter of the sign was 30 ft (9 m) wide and 50 ft(15 m) high, and was studded with some 4000 light bulbs.
The sign was officially dedicated on July 13, 1923. It was not intended to be permanent. Some sources say its expected life was to be about a year and a half but after the rise of the American cinema in Los Angeles, it became an internationally recognized symbol, and was left there.
Hollywood -New Version
In 1978, the Chamber set out to replace the intensely deteriorated sign with a more permanent structure. Nine donors gave $27,700 apiece to sponsor replacement letters made of Australian steel, guaranteed to last for many years .
These new letters were each 45 ft (13.7 m) high and ranged from 31 to 39 ft (9.3 to 11.8 m) wide. The new version of the sign was unveiled on Hollywood's 75th anniversary, November 14, 1978, before a live television audience of 60 million people.
Sign and Suicide
It became so associated with Hollywood, that in September of 1932, actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping to her death from the letter "H", as she saw the sign as a symbol of the industry that had rejected her.
In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in, offering to remove the last four letters and to repair the rest. Because the city dictated that all subsequent illumination would be at the cost of the Chamber, it opted not to replace the light bulbs. The 1949 effort gave it new life, but the wooden and sheet metal sign continued to deteriorate in the open air of the Hollywood Hills. Eventually the first "O" splintered and broke off resembling a lowercase "u", and the third "O" fell down completely leaving the severely dilapidated sign reading "HuLLYWO D".
During the early 1940s, Albert Kothe (the sign's official caretaker) caused an accident that destroyed the letter "H", as seen in many historical pictures. Kothe was driving his car up to the top of Mount Lee drunk, lost control of the vehicle, and stumbled off the cliff behind the "H". While Kothe was not injured, the 1928 Ford Model A was destroyed, as was the "H".
Surviving a devastating wildfire in 1961, followed by massive mudslides the following year, Hollywoodland today remains one of Los Angeles’ most popular neighborhoods. Beyond being the birthplace of the Hollywood sign, Hollywoodland is known for its hamlet -like charm, recreational activities and historical significance. Throughout its 80 -year history, artists, actors, writers and others have all called it home, along with wildlife of deer, foxes, coyotes and native plant life such as blue agaves and chaparral. Some of America’s foremost architects: John Delario (the chef designer of Hollywoodland), Richard Neutra and John Lautner, have designed homes in our hills and commercial buildings in our village, many of which have been placed on the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department list of Historical and cultural monuments. In 2003, the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association and its residents celebrated the 80th anniversary of the neighborhood.