What is the history of the Hollywood Sign?
The iconic letters on Mount Lee, which number 9 today, where four letters longer when the sign was erected in 1923. Spelling Hollywoodland, the large white letters advertised a neighborhood developing below the sign along Beachwood Drive and surrounding ridges. The original letters were fifty feet tall and lit by thousands of bulbs. When the letters went up, they were intended to be temporary. However, the Hollywood Sign has endured for nearly 100 years later.
Inevitably, the letters on the sign deteriorated over the years and became an eyesore. The sign was restored in 1949, when ‘land’ was dropped from the lettering to better represent all of Hollywood. The sign needed to be revitalized again by 1979, when the current 45-foot tall letters were installed. What started as a souped-up billboard advertisement is now one of the world’s most iconic landmarks (but lacks national landmark designation).