The sign was first erected in 1923 and originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND". Its purpose was to advertise the name of a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Chinatown. H.J. Whitley had already used a sign to advertise his development Whitley Heights, which was located between Highland Avenue and Vine Avenue. He suggested to his friend Harry Chandler, the owner of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, that the land syndicate in which he was involved make a similar sign to advertise their land. Real estate developers Woodruff and Shoults called their development "Hollywoodland" and advertised it as a "superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills".
Related People & Organizations
Hugh Hefner,In 1978, in large part because of the public campaign to restore the landmark by Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce set out to replace the severely deteriorated sign with a more permanent structure.