Photos: Repainting the Hollywood Sign

What kind of person, particularly someone who loves L.A., says no if they get an invitation to visit the Hollywood sign? I mean, come on, this is a monument that’s seen by millions from a distance, ¬†but only a few get to actually visit and touch. I got the opportunity so I could profile current on-going work to repaint the sign. The project is the biggest renovation of the landmark in more than three decades and it comes right before the sign’s 90th anniversary in 2013.

In the audio file you’ll hear the report. I talk to some of the very talented crew of workers who are repainting every square inch of each 45-foot tall letters spelling¬†“Hollywood.”

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Here are some pictures from the sign.

The sign that now exists dates back to the 1970s, when an older wooden version of the sign was torn down and replaced with metal letters. While the sign was being replaced, there was no Hollywood sign in L.A. for three months.
The Hollywood Sign was first built in 1923 to promote a local real estate development. It first spelled out “Hollywoodland” and was illuminated by 4,000 20-watt bulbs

The workers involved in the repainting of the signs are veterans of other industrial projects, but none of them have done anything like this before.
There are no creature comforts for the paint crew working on the sign. Ladders and other equipment have to be put on narrow strips of level ground around the sign.
The sign is 450 feet long, with each letter four stories tall. Together, the letters weigh 480,000 pounds.