by Katherine Butler
Friday, February 19, 2010
There’s Time Square for New York City, the Golden Gate bridge for San Francisco, and the Sears Tower for Chicago, (sorry, the Willis Tower). And because I can’t think of anymore national icons – there’s the Hollywood Sign of Los Angeles! The white, capital letters of Hollywood have longed represented the fame, glamour, and celebrity that Tinseltown has offered up to the rest of the world.
And now, it’s under serious threat from developers. The Trust for Public Land (TPL) needs $12.5 million by April 14 to buy the 138 acres on Cahuenga Peak, located behind and to the left of the "H" in the iconic sign. The area, which is zoned for four luxury home sites, will go back on the market by the investors who own it if enough money isn’t raised by mid-April. Will Rogers is the president of the TPL. As he told reporters, "The Hollywood Sign is one of America's most famous views and if big homes are built behind it, the view would be forever ruined.
Last week, the city of Los Angeles joined forces with the TPL to bring attention to this need for cash. Covering the sign to read “Save the Peak,” preservationists have managed to raise $2 million from donors across the city and the globe. This leaves “just” $4.5 million that must be raised by April. If enough funds are raised, the investors who own the land will give it to the city to become part of adjacent Griffith Park.
And to answer any of the “what’s the big deal?” sentiment out there, this is the land that will be developed.