The best known sign in the world that was featured in numerous movies, pictures and became a true symbol of the whole place, the Hollywood sign has a fascinating history, which resembles a thrilling drama. And could be it any other way with the spirit dwelling in the city? From spectacular heights to complete deterioration and back, the sign is a full-living character and the biggest celebrity in Hollywood.
Designed and established as an advertising sign in 1923, the sign was intended to be temporary. The initial spelling of the sign was «Hollywoodland» and was used as an advertisement for a new housing development on Hollywood Hills. The 13-letter 50-feet high sign with powerful illumination has soon become a symbol for the whole city and its prosperous movie industry, with numerous appearances on film throughout the years.
But during the 1940's the sign saw substantial deterioration, with the letter «H» being destroyed by a car accident and the condition of the remaining letters worsening due to the climate. The wooden and metal construction was in such a bad shape that in 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce asked the City of Los Angeles to perform restoration works on the sign. The City has set strict conditions with the word «land» to be removed from the sign and the illumination to be at full expense of the Chamber. After the restoration works have been completed the sign appeared in the form as we know it now. But not for long.
The open air has continued to deteriorate the construction, which was initially intended to serve about a year for advertising purposes. After completely losing one «O» and partially - another, the sign spelled "HuLLYWO D". Such a sight was a disgrace for many Hollywood stars and in 1978 a campaign led by the shock-rocker Alice Cooper has raised funds for restoring the sign. The old wood and metal construction was replaced with durable Australian steel letters, which were a few feet shorter than the original ones.
Find hotels in Hollywood that give you a good view on this spectacular construction.
Today the sign is a private property and has restricted access with a security system protecting it from acts of vandalism. Truly, like a movie star it stands there to be admired from the distance and giving the location its world-famous background.