The Hollywood Sign: Maintaining an Icon

Fact Sheet

Tinseltown’s “biggest star,” the Hollywood Sign, is one of the world’s most evocative symbols — a universal metaphor for ambition, success and glamour.

The Sign, built in 1923, was an outdoor ad campaign for a suburban housing development called “Hollywoodland.” It was intended for the Sign to be up for a year and a half.

In 1949, after years of neglect, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce embarked on a major makeover for the Sign, removing the letters that spelled “LAND” and repairing the rest.

By the late 1970s, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce determined that the Sign required a complete rebuilding, an effort that cost a quarter million dollars.

In 1978, Hugh Hefner sponsored a gala at the Playboy Mansion where each of the Sign’s nine letters was ceremonially “auctioned” off for $27,700 to cover the costs of the refurbishment. Approximately 194 tons of concrete, enamel and steel later, the Sign was reborn, polished and poised for a new millennium.

The Sign has been painted twice since 1978 and was in need of a complete overhaul, just in time to celebrate its 90th birthday. Sherwin-Williams finest paint, Emerald™ Exterior Paint, was selected for the job.

The Sign’s letters stand at:
H 45 feet high by 33 feet and 6 inches wide
O 45 feet high by 33 feet wide
L 45 feet high by 31 feet wide
L 45 feet high by 31 feet wide
Y 45 feet high by 35 feet wide
W 45 feet high by 39 feet and 9 inches wide
O 45 feet high by 33 feet wide
O 45 feet high by 33 feet wide
D 45 feet high by 33 feet wide


For nearly 150 years, Sherwin-Williams has been an industry leader in the development of technologically advanced paint and coatings. As the nation’s largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies, Sherwin-Williams is dedicated to supporting both do-it-yourselfers and painting professionals with exceptional products, resources to make confident color selections and expert, personalized service that’s focused on unique project needs. Sherwin-Williams products can only be found at its more than 3,500 neighborhood stores across North America. For more information, visit Join Sherwin-Williams on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


The Hollywood Sign Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit trust responsible for repairing, maintaining, refurbishing and providing capital improvements to the Hollywood Sign for the benefit of the public at large. Its nine-member board is led by Chris Baumgart as its Chairperson. More information about the Sign’s history and the Trust can be found at: