LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16, 2010 - Since the world-famous Hollywood Sign was covered five days ago to say "Save the Peak," about $1 million has been raised to help The Trust for Public Land (TPL) protect the view of the sign, TPL President Will Rogers announced Tuesday.
"We have had a tremendous response from the public and we are seeing donations coming in, but we still need people to donate," said Rogers.
TPL needs $12.5 million by April 14 to buy the 138 acres on Cahuenga Peak, located behind and to the left of the "H" in the iconic sign.
TPL had already identified about $7 million in public and private funds when the sign was covered beginning last Thursday. Since then, donors worldwide have given or pledged about $1 million, which brings the total commitment of money to about $8 million, leaving $4.5 million to raise, Rogers said.
People can donate at www.savehollywoodland.org
"The Hollywood Sign is one of America's most famous views and if big homes are built behind it, the view would be forever ruined. The public understands that and they are responding strongly and quickly," Rogers said.
Rogers also said, "We have had good discussions with Hollywood industry leaders and it is clear that the entertainment community will be stepping up to help. We'll have more to say about that in the days ahead."
"This is a great start, but we're going to need more help. We hope that people around the world will become real Hollywood stars by helping us 'Save the Peak,' " said Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who has been setting aside money from public park funds for nine years to purchase this land. "We're grateful to the Trust for Public Land and everyone who donated over the weekend, for helping the City buy this land to expand Griffith Park."
The land was originally bought by industrialist Howard Hughes in 1940 to build a home for movie star Ginger Rogers, his intended bride. When that relationship ended, Hughes kept the land, and in 2002, his estate sold it to the investors who now own it. Two years ago, they put it on the market for $22 million, but it hasn't sold. It is zoned for four luxury homesites.
The Cahuenga Peak partnership includes TPL, LaBonge, the Hollywood Sign Trust, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
The land will be added to Griffith Park.
Tim Ahern, TPL