GRIFFITH PARK—There has been an ongoing dispute between tourists and residents who live in the vicinity of the famed Hollywood sign.
The sign, which originally read “Hollywoodland,” and was built in 1923 as an advertisement for a housing project. The sign gained some notoriety in 1932, when a struggling 24 year-old actress by the name of Peg Entwistle threw herself off the letter H. In the 1940s, the sign had deteriorated, but people donated money to fix the sign. One of the stipends for the restoration was the sign would only read “Hollywood” instead of “Hollywoodland” when it was completed.
In 1978, the sign was demolished because it was difficult to upkeep, but it was re-erected a few months later. The sign continues to be a major landmark in the area as well as a fixture in the history of Hollywood.
Tourists flock to see the Hollywood sign, which has become a hiking destination. The volume of people who continually seek out the Hollywood sign has become a problem for local residents. Homeowners are currently suing the City of Los Angeles and demanding that they close the Hollyridge path that leads into Griffith Park.
Homeowners claim that the path is dangerous; it was not built to become such a major tourist attraction. There is increasing amounts of littering from people who traverse the area; cigarette disposal is a big issue along the trails, as well. It has become problematic for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to gain access to the areas that need help because of the people and other vehicles that are along the route.
This is not the first time that residents have asked for the closure of this path. Last year, Hollyridge Trail was closed for nine months in order to put up a gate to limit the amount of vehicles that are allowed access to the area.
Homeowners want the City of Los Angeles to close down the path, so that an evaluation can be made as to the risk of public access.
No official decision has been made as to whether the popular path will be closed.