Hollywood history saved!

Culture, Tradition Saved!

The Hollywood sign, a beacon to stars and star-struck alike, has been saved from urban sprawl under a land conservation pact announced Monday after a donation by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner capped a multimillion-dollar fundraising drive.
“It’s a symbol of dreams and a symbol of opportunity and hope,” actor-turned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told a press conference below the towering letters. “The Hollywood sign will welcome dreamers, artists and Austrian bodybuilders for generations to come.”
The huge sign overlooking the city was in danger of having its distinctive setting on the flanks of the Santa Monica Mountains crowded by construction of estate homes on nearby Cahuenga Peak.
But a $900,000 donation from Heffner, who helped save the sign itself 32 years ago and a $500,000 matching grant completed a $12.5 million fundraising drive to protect 138 acres from development that would have altered the globally recognized symbol of the world’s film and television capital.
 “My childhood dreams and fantasies came from the movies, and the images created in Hollywood had a major influence on my life and Playboy,” Hefner said.

Schwarzenegger praised the public and private partnership that raised the money to keep the property out of the hands of developers.

 The Trust for Public Land conservation group raised $6.7 million in private funds, the state offered $3.1 million, and local funds totaled $2.7 million.

     Schwarzenegger said private donations came from all 50 states, 10 foreign countries, The Tiffany & Co. and a number of individuals, including J. Paul Getty heir Aileen Getty, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks as well as many more celebs. 

Cahuenga Peak, just west of the sign’s location on Mount Lee, features a 360-degree panorama of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
Moviemaker and aviation mogul Howard Hughes bought the property in 1940 to build a home for then-girlfriend Ginger Rogers. But that never came about, and the Hughes estate sold the property in 2002 for $1.7 million to the Chicago-based investment group Fox River Financial Resources Inc.
For additional reading, activism, and involvement please see here.
For an ABC News produced video on the project please see here.
 

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