Last weekend, my friends and I hiked to one of the most significant landmarks in Los Angeles, California: The Hollywood sign. It is one of the most known American cultural icons in the world. There is widespread popular belief that it is thought to stand for the entertainment and film industry located in Hollywood and the surrounding Los Angeles area. Its significance today however is not what the sign was intended for originally.
When designed by Thomas Fisk Goff and built in 1923, it was merely advertisement for a local real estate company. It was then when the sign originally spelled out “Hollywoodland.” The sign was only supposed to be up for about and year and a half. But due to the beginnings of the film and entertainment industry in Los Angeles, the sign began to gain more and more recognition. It was then when the sign began to be associated with the idea of Hollywood being the center of the film industry.
Since this sign was not created to be up for an extended period of time, it began to quickly deteriorate. It was then when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to repair and save the sign in 1949. The “land” part of the original sign was removed to make the sign more representative of the area. In a way, this act reinvented the sign and made it portray what the Chamber had wanted it to. The Chamber took advantage of the popularity and recognition in this sign to help further invent Hollywood to become the center of entertainment in Los Angeles. Eventually in 1978 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce replaced the older sign with a even more permanent sign making this significant symbol a popular tourist attraction today.