The famous Hollywood sign, one of the crown jewels of Los Angeles, will get a makeover for the first time since 1978. This remodeling will be in celebration of the sign’s 90th birthday in 2013.
Sherwin-Williams and the Hollywood Sign Trust, in benefit of the city of Los Angeles and the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks, will fund the massive project.
The process began Tuesday and will carry on for approximately eight to 10 weeks. The Hollywood Sign was torn down and will be painted using approximately 110 gallons of Pro Industrial Pro-Cryl Universal Primer and 275 gallons of Emerald Exterior Paint.
Duggan and Associates, a commercial painting company based in Los Angeles, was assigned with taking down the sign, stripping the paint and applying the fresh new coat.
Originally known as the “Hollywoodland” Sign, it was built in 1923 by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler as a billboard for his real estate development, costing $21,000.
The sign was originally built with small metal squares pieced together by scaffolding, pipes, wires and telephone poles. Each of the then 13 letters stood at 30 feet wide and 43 feet tall, according to HollywoodSign.org.
In 1978, the sign was torn down for three months and rebuilt and re-erected with concrete, enamel and steel.
Some students agree that the “face-lift” of the Hollywood Sign can be promising, since its last remodel was almost 35 years go, as long as the sign stays where it is.
Melissa Strickler,19, an English major from Hope International University, said she believes the change is good.
“I think it’s alright as long as it goes back up,” said Strickler. “It’s a California landmark.”
The Hollywood Sign is one of the first things that come to people’s minds when they think of Los Angeles.
“Everybody recognizes it and I think that they need to keep it up,” said Aubrey Moore, 19, a child development and math major at Cal State Fullerton. “I think it’s good for them to keep it clean and remodel it.”
Other students expressed uncertainty about changing the landmark and that it should be kept in its current state.
Atalie Pang, 19, a business administration major, said she thinks the Hollywood Sign should be left the way it is.
“I don’t agree with it because it’s a signature landmark,” said Pang. “You can’t take down something that’s history.”
Evia Holtz, 45, a kinesiology major, agreed that the sign does not need the change and that it represents a major work of art in California and, as any other artists’ work, change is unneeded.
“Maybe when you repair it, (they) can look for a way to keep its original form,” said Holtz. “And I think they should do that.”
“You don’t alter Picasso, you don’t alter Rembrandt,” he added.
The sign is a part of history and because movies are a big industry the sign should always be a symbol of where they originated from, Holtz said.
After the paint and restoration processes, the sign will be expected to return to its original location for all Los Angeles to enjoy, fresh and ready for its next century of movie history.
“I would say leave it there and leave it how it is,” Pang said. “That’s how it’s been made over time.