Vintage: Hollywoodland Sign (1920s)

Vintage: Hollywoodland Sign (1920s)

The sign was first erected in 1923 and originally read “HOLLYWOODLAND.” Its purpose was to advertise the name of a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. H.J. Whitley had already used a sign to advertise his development Whitley Heights, which was located between Highland Avenue and Vine Street. He suggested to his friend Harry Chandler, the owner of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, that the land syndicate in which he was involved make a similar sign to advertise their land. Real estate developers Woodruff and Shoults called their development “Hollywoodland” and advertised it as a “superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills.”


Brand new Hollywoodland homes, 1925. (Photo Courtesy of the Hollywood Sign Trust and All Rights Reserved.)


c. 1924 Image: Underwood Archives/Getty Images


Ladies in a steam shovel bucket, behind the Hollywoodland sign, 1923. (Photo Courtesy of the Hollywood Sign Trust and All Rights Reserved.)


1924 Image: Bettmann/Corbis


c. 1923 Surveyors and builders working on the Hollywoodland housing development pose for a portrait beneath the sign erected to advertise the site. Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images


c. 1935 Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


1929 An aerial view of Hollywood, with the Hollywoodland sign in the background. Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Amid laser beams and searchlights, the new \”Hollywood\” sign near the top of Mt. Lee in Los Angeles, is unveiled after its dedication, Nov. 11, 1978. The old landmark sign it replaces was built in 1923, but deteriorated and began to fall apart recently. The 50-foot high and 400-foot long sign was replaced by donations from nine public donors totaling $250,000. (George Brich—AP Photo)