Friday, February 12, 2010

Hollywood Sign: The potty-training edition

Forget "Sollywood" or even "Sallywood." As of late Friday morning, the Hollywood Sign read: "Saveypood."

Yesterday afternoon, City Councilman Tom LaBonge was on hand as representatives from The Trust for Public Land began work on covering up the legendary L.A. landmark with a message that will ultimately read: Save the Peak.

The peak in question is Cahuenga Peak, "the 138 acres of land behind and to the left of the sign," according to the Save Cahuenga Peak Web site. It is set to be developed into luxury housing if enough money isn't raised by April 14 to preserve the land and add it to Griffith Park.

The land, of course, has its own Hollywood story. According to reports in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Howard Hughes purchased the peak in 1940 to build a home for his love, Ginger Rogers. The relationship eventually ended without any love nest to speak of, and the land lay dormant until 2002, when Hughes' estate sold it to Chicago investors for $1.7 million.

Fast forward to today, when the Chicago investors are willing to sell it to the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land for about $12 million, if they can come up with the money by April.

Hence the sign coverage. So far, about half of the money has been raised, but the organization wants to increase awareness of the predicament and encourage Angelenos to donate.

With all the hub-bub, I wanted to show CC the sign, since it's never really been on her radar -- and why should it be?

As we drove up the twists and turns of Beachwood Drive, she squealed, "Letters! Look at the letters!"

Then, after a moment, CC changed her tone.

"Who put those letters on that hill?" she demanded.

That's a long story, kid.

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