Hollywood Hills, CA

The Hollywood Sign

North of Beachwood Canyon Drive


The Hollywood Sign originally said "Hollywoodland" before it
was shortened in 1945. The Hollywood Sign is the most famous sign in the world. It is located on Mount Lee in Griffith Park overlooking Hollywood. It is illegal to hike to the Hollywood Sign. There are many good vantage points from the streets of Hollywood. The Sign is a trademark of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Any commercial usage of the Sign requires the approval of the Chamber. For information concerning licensing, phone the
Chamber at (323)469-8311
Hollywood Sign Measurements
H - 45' high by 33' 6" wide 
O - 45' high by 33' wide 
L - 45' high by 31' wide 
L - 45' high by 31' wide
Y - 45' high by 35' wide 
W - 45' high by 39' 9" wide 
O - 45' high by 39' 9" wide 
O - 45' high by 39' 9" wide 
D - 45' high by 33' wide
Each letters thickness varies: 
9 ft. at the top and bottom of the Os and D. 
10 ft. at the cross bar of the H, the horizontal bars of the
Ls. 11 ft. at the vertical sections of the H, Os, Ls, and D. 
The Y is 11 ft. at the top branches, but the base is 13 ft. 
The W is also complicated. The top points are 11 ft., 5 ft.
6 inches, and 8 ft. 9 inches wide from left to right, and
the bases are 6 ft. 6 inches and 6 ft. (left to right)

Altering the Sign
The current Hollywood Sign.
It is illegal and highly dangerous to make alterations to the Sign. Although the City in the past has allowed it on occasion for commercial purposes, current City policy does not permit changes to be made, due to neighborhood opposition and accidents that have occurred in the past.
However, a great deal of interest has been shown in some of the times that the Sign was unofficially altered. Some of the more famous illegal modifications have included: 

HOLYWOOD - September 1987, for Pope John Paul II's arrival 
OLLYWOOD - July 1987, during Iran-Contra hearings 
CALTECH - May 1987, on Hollywood's 100th birthday 
FOX - April 1987, promotion for the TV network 
HOLLYWOOD II - April 1986, to mark revitalization of area 
RAFFEYSOD - January 1985, meaning never determined 
HOLLYWEED - December 1983, for a movie filming 
GO NAVY - November 1983, before a game at the Rose Bowl 
HOLLYWEED - January 1976, noting new state marijuana law

Facts About the Hollywood Sign
The Sign was built in 1923 to read Hollywoodland, as a publicity ploy to promote sales of homes in a subdivision by the same name along Beachwood Canyon. Original cost was $21,000. Letters were 30 feet wide and 50 feet tall, and were studded with low wattage light bulbs, 4,000 altogether. The Sign was expected to last a year and a half. Maintenance of the Sign was discontinued in 1939. Late in 1944, the M. H. Sherman Company, developers of the Hollywoodlands, quit claimed to the City of Los Angeles about 455 acres of land adjoining Griffith Park, which property included the Sign.  In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce entered into a contract with the Department of Recreation and Parks to repair and rebuild the Sign and to remove "land" so that it would spell HOLLYWOOD. The cost was estimated to be $4,000. The light bulbs had long before been stolen, and the City stipulated that any new illumination would be at the expense of the Chamber.  The Sign was declared Los Angeles Cultural-Historical Monument #111 in 1973 by the Cultural Heritage Board of the City of Los Angeles.  A fundraising campaign was launched in April of 1978 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to rebuild the Sign after it had seriously deteriorated. Donors contributed $27,700 each to buy a replacement letter.  Work to rebuild the Sign began in August of 1978 and was finished by November. Pacific Outdoor Advertising Company, in conjunction with Hughes Helicopters and Heath Sign Company, demolished the remains of the old Sign and installed new all-steel letters in its place.  The Sign now stretches 450 feet across the side of Mount Lee, and is still 50 feet tall. It weighs 450,000 pounds.  The new Hollywood Sign was unveiled live on November 14, 1978, on Hollywood's 75th anniversary, before a television audience of 60 million.  Primary responsibility for the maintenance and preservation of the Sign rests with the Hollywood Sign Trust. The trustees are named by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the City of Los Angeles.