One of the entertainment industry's most recognizable landmarks, the "Hollywood" sign on Cahuenga Peak in California, may be getting a major facelift. The land has been on the market recently, but a non-profit organization called Public Trust for Lands is closing in on securing the 138-acre area to build a hotel and reinvigorate the 87-year-old landmark. The only catch is the group needs to finish off a fundraising campaign that was $3 million short as of a couple days ago.
Danish architect Christian Bay-Jorgensen is behind the vision of a beautiful, modern restructuring of the 450-foot-wide sign. Not only would it be doubled in size, but the hotel would extend from the structure itself, giving guests a one-of-a-kind luxurious stay. As expected, the reactions are mixed, but in a recent interview with the LA Daily News, Bay-Jorgensen reassured the world it will do wonders for the city.
"I'm a fan of the Hollywood sign and the unused spaces of America. It could be interesting to make it a center for such events as the Golden Globes and Oscars...I know people are scared. I know they are afraid this idea will turn it into Disneyland... I think this could be something that could improve the experience of the LA resident, to let them see the sign in a new way."
As passionate as the architect is about his potential establishment, not all of Hollywood is so excited. Members of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council flat out don't expect it to happen, and many would like to keep it that way. The Hollywood sign is the most famous sign in the world. While it may be made of wood and paint, that is part of its mystique.
There is a fascination in culture today to brighten everything up and make it shiny and modern. Sometimes these people need to just take a step back and recognize what makes an icon like this so famous.
The Hollywood sign has been featured in countless movies and it continues to be a mainstay in the film industry on and off camera. When a director needs to establish location, some cities have monuments, others have skyscrapers, but Hollywood has the sign. Filmmakers have burned, crushed, tarnished, spray-painted, cut in half, flown through and driven through it, but cherish it all the same. Just think how many movie couples found their romance after dusk in the surrounding brush of the sign?
Every single apocalyptic film based on the West Coast seems to have a money shot of the sign in shambles. If Bay-Jorgensen and the Public Trust for Lands group gets their way, that will be far from the truth. The Hollywood sign would quickly evolve into a new icon, emerging from its wooden cocoon into a gorgeous hot spot. If it does get built, at least tourists will have a chance to be a part of the landmark, instead of simply view it at a distance.
Check out the renderings for the proposed hotel below.
Share your thoughts below in the comments section. Sound off all you want or praise them for taking initiative to liven up the grassy hillside.