The Hollywood sign | A photographic history of the Los Angeles landmark

A publicity photo for the Hollywoodland subdivision’s groundbreaking includes a plow, mules and surveyors. It was taken from the book “The Hollywood Sign” by Leo Braudy and appears courtesy of the Bruce Torrence Collection of the Hollywood Sign Trust. Erected in 1923 as a giant ad for the housing development, the sign’s letters are 45 feet tall and 36 feet wide. It was declared a Los Angeles Cultural Historical Monument in 1973.

The iconic sign — which read ‘Hollywoodland’ until 1949, the year of its first face-lift — is undergoing its most extensive refurbishing in nearly 35 years.

Workers will strip the letters of their paint and pressure-wash the exposed corrugated metal before priming and repainting them white, according to the Hollywood Sign Trust. The back of the sign will also be scraped, sanded and painted.

The project, expected to take 275 gallons of paint and 110 gallons of primer, should take eight to 10 weeks to complete.

On this auspicious occasion, Framework is proud to present a photographic history of the Los Angeles landmark.

Enjoy.

A 1924 photo shows the Hollywoodland subdivision with the iconic sign, which was later shortened to “Hollywood.”

Caltech students announce their allegiance in 1987.

The cartoon figure of “Holli Would” was perched atop the letter “D” of the Hollywood sign and remained there for four days in July 1992, before the opening of the movie “Cool World,” in which she plays a seductress.
Before the installation of a security system, the Hollywood sign was a favorite target of pranksters. Supporters of presidential candidate Ross Perot got in on the act during the 1992 campaign.
A slip of two letters made for a cheerful Hollywood sign in 1993.
An altered Hollywood sign in 1996 alludes to an altered state of mind.
The setting sun casts a warm glow on the Hollywood sign in 1999. Before its 2005 makeover, the sign was last spruced up in 1995. Work on the 2012 renovation is currently underway.
The Hollywood sign is prepared for a Y2K light and laser show on New Year’s Eve in 1999.
A colorful Hollywood sign celebrates the turn of the century on Dec. 31, 1999.
The Hollywood sign is shown from a different perspective in this image taken from space in 1999 by the IKONOS satellite.
 
The Hollywood sign is illuminated by the spotlight of a helicopter in 2005, during a month-long renovation.
The news media observes the repainting of the iconic Hollywood sign in November 2005. The 45-foot high letters of the famous sign received a coat of primer and specially formulated paint called Hollywood White.
 A brush fire burns near the Hollywood sign in March 2007. About 200 firefighters were on the scene and at least five helicopters dropped fire retardents on the blaze. Griffith Observatory can be seen on the right.
A helicopter flies over the iconic Hollywood sign in February 2010 after activists covered it with banners during an effort to prevent the construction of houses nearby.
 The Hollywood sign shines brightly against a rare backdrop of snow-capped mountains from the vantage point of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in 2011.
 The space shuttle Endeavor passes the Hollywood sign on its final flight as it makes the rounds of the Los Angeles and Orange County areas before landing at LAX on Sept. 21, 2012.
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