The Hollywood Sign Is Getting a Face-Lift

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Hollywood sign

Tinseltown’s most iconic landmark is having some work done.

The legendary, if faded, white Hollywood sign set in the hills of Los Angeles is getting its first makeover in roughly 35 years this week as crews have started an eight to 10 week effort to completely spruce up the most famous nine letters in Southern California.

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The sign gets repainted periodically — the last time was in 2005 — but this project is far more ambitious. Workers will strip off all the old paint and add a protective layer consisting of 110 gallons of acrylic primer and a sparkling coat of 275 gallons of white exterior paint.

A local Los Angeles commercial painting crew will handle the job, sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and the Hollywood Sign Trust — not quite as exciting as when mules hauled the original 43-foot-tall metal letters up Mount Lee as an advertisement for a real estate development called Hollywoodland in 1923.

In its initial heyday, 4,000 20-watt bulbs kept the “holly,” “wood” and “land” portions of the sign blinking in true look-at-me-now fashion. In 1949 the “land” portion came down, leaving the “Hollywood” that we know today. The sign sank into disrepair for the next three decades, according to the trust, losing almost an entire “O” and much of the “D.” Termites gnawed away at the rest.

In 1978, Hugh Hefner stepped in and convinced celebrities to sponsor the refurbishment of the sign, at $27,500 per letter, and after three months and 194 tons of concrete, enamel and steel later, the current sign was finished.

In the current sprucing up, crews will pressure-wash the corrugated metal, sanding and stripping it of all the weather-beaten paint before a glimmering coat of paint makes the old sign look new again. How fitting. This is Hollywood, after all.

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16 comments
Right on the left coast
Right on the left coast

Maybe it will be refurbished to finally correct the sign to its true location:

H O L L Y W E I R D

tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

"Termites gnawed away at the rest." Not unlike my native California itself, increasingly multiculturally splintered and anthill multitudinous, due to decades of federal open-border policies. Even though the People's Republic of Hollywood has long been a cultural Marxist propaganda machine, that sign is truly an iconic image, not only of the earlier promise of Hollywood, but of a bygone California, and a dying America. Have talent, work hard, be lucky--and become a STAR!

The Hollywood sign has long been located in an open area enjoyed by walkers, hikers and the like, but a few years ago part of it was slated to be carved up for development, which thanks to the Trust for Public Land, and others, was kept open so that all can continue to enjoy this historic beloved site of open space so close to a densely populated area. Thank you TPL. If only the Hollywood glitterati and other American elites cared as much about losing America as they do about losing a sign.

J
J

a bit goofy......

TeslasMad
TeslasMad

 Yeah, "your" native California. Unlike the real "native" California that belonged to the Spanish, who STOLE it from the true NATIVE Americans. Schmuck!!!

ocscorpio
ocscorpio

No one 'stole' it from anyone, you moron. The state of California became part of the U.S. as part of the resolution the Mexican-American War.

That war only happened because Mexico did not respect the independence of Texas, who won it in the Texas Revolution by defeating the Mexican army. When Texas later became annexed by the United States, Mexico invaded Texas, and therefore engaged in an act of war against the United States. When they lost the war, part of the settlement included Mexico giving up the part of the California territory that is now the State of California. 

So if you want to blame anyone for something that happened almost 170 years ago, blame Mexico for invading a sovereign country.

TeslasMad
TeslasMad

 Yes, Sam Houston and all those magical white men just sprouted up out of the ground and had "first dibs" on all of that land. Love the way your memory of history stops right at the point when "Americans" held the land, wouldn't want to examine things any further back lest we be accused of the genocide of the Native Americans. How dare those Mexican people attack the Lone Star peoples, we're always on the side of truth and justice.

Choking Kojak
Choking Kojak

America doesn't have any "elites."

tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

Thanks, I forgot the party line. 

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

No, really.  

Or, maybe it's me:  I don't impress easily. When something allegedly "elite" happens these days, I don't seem to miss it. 

september11th
september11th

Serious question, why will it take 10 weeks to sand the letters down, paint a coat of primer, and a layer of white? Seems like one guy could get this done himself in a few days.

Jason Farrish
Jason Farrish

"43-foot-tall metal letters"  This will not be a simple task, it being on the side of a hill and all.  They have to power wash what they can, sand and strip other parts, allow it to dry, than start applying coats of acrylic primer, let that dry, than apply probably several coats of paint.  So 8 - 10 weeks sounds about right.  I'm guessing they are adding in a week extra just in case of weather.

Greg Wilker
Greg Wilker

I have feeling you don't really understand how large this sign is. granted 10 weeks is kinda long but it's also on the side of a mountain so there are risks and other red tape that has to be done before hand. But one guy + a few days is un realistic. Depending on how many workers are on it I can see it being done in about 3 weeks with about 25  people divided up between each letter working at the same time.

september11th
september11th

Perhaps I just don't understand why so much time and effort is required if the thing is usually seen at minimum thousands and thousands of feet away. Slap some paint on with a mop and be on your way, nobody will notice. But what do I know, can't think of any better ways to spend 200,000 dollars.

VewRang
VewRang

lol, gotta love them Hollywood schmucks.

GetPrivacy.tk

ocscorpio
ocscorpio

I don't think anyone who has to post idiotic comments on a public board to try and promote his pathetic website has enough credibility to call anyone else a 'schmuck'