Hollywood Sign Trust Honored With 2023 Preservation Award by the Los Angeles Conservancy

July 27, 2023
Hollywood Sign Trust Honored With 2023 Preservation Award by the Los Angeles Conservancy

The Hollywood Sign Trust is being honored with a 2023 Preservation Award by the Los Angeles Conservancy, which is recognizing the Sign’s exceptional achievements in the field of historic preservation in Los Angeles County today at its annual Awards Celebration. The Hollywood Sign Trust has been protecting and preserving the Hollywood Sign since 1978 when it was formed to save the Sign from total disrepair. In the Sign’s centennial year, the Trust is honored to maintain and preserve the iconic landmark that symbolizes Los Angeles’ sense of place and inspires millions of locals and fans around the world.

“This has been a celebratory year for the Sign as we’ve been shining a spotlight on its 100th anniversary, and this prestigious award from the Los Angeles Conservancy is the icing on the cake,” said Jeff Zarrinnam, chair of the Hollywood Sign Trust. “We feel a true kinship with the Los Angeles Conservancy, which also formed in 1978, in its mission to preserve and shine a light on the historical architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. We look forward to their incredible achievements for generations to come.”

When the Sign was erected in 1923 by the Hollywoodland Real Estate Group, it was slated to last only a year and half, and throughout the Sign’s 100 year history, it has been threatened with decay and destruction. Against all odds it survived, but by 1973 it was in total disrepair. Citizens of Hollywood successfully lobbied to protect their precious icon and the Sign was declared a Los Angeles Cultural Historical Monument in 1973.

Now protected by law, resources were still lacking for its restoration and rebuilding. In 1978, the Trust was established by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to oversee, and raise the funds necessary, to accomplish this massive project. With the help of extremely generous citizens and celebrities who sponsored each letter, the Trust unveiled a newly rebuilt Hollywood Sign on October 30, 1978. In 2021, in preparation for the Sign’s centennial, a clean-up of the Sign and immediate grounds was initiated by the Trust in advance of a transformative paint job (using protective materials) in late 2022. This work was captured by the media around the world and illuminates the decades of preservation efforts by the Trust.

“Thanks to the Hollywood Trust’s exemplary approach to stewardship, the Hollywood Sign is sure to remain the biggest star in town for another hundred years,” said Linda Dishman, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Conservancy. “Their efforts not only strengthened and restored the letters; they kept alive an icon that’s become synonymous with Los Angeles and the hopes and dreams of so many worldwide.”

Since 1982, the Los Angeles Conservancy has honored excellence in historic preservation through its annual Preservation Awards. The awards are selected by an independent jury of experts in architecture, historic preservation, and community development. Award recipients ranged widely, from sensitive restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects, to groundbreaking advocacy and education efforts by individuals and groups that represent the region’s most significant preservation projects.

2023 Preservation Awards Jury

Devon Barnes, Jury Chair, Principal Associate, Gruen Associates

Arturo Chavez, General Manager, El Pueblo Historic Monument

Jessica Hencier, Project Manager, Craig Lawson & Co., LLC

Andrea Mauk, Real Estate Professional, Writer, Artist, and Community Preservation Advocate

John Schwab-Sims, President, The Glendale Historical Society

About the Hollywood Sign Trust

The Hollywood Sign Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit trust created operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes and responsible for physically maintaining, repairing and securing the Hollywood Sign; providing capital improvements for the benefit of the public at large; and educating the world about the Sign’s historical and cultural importance. More information about the Sign's history and the Trust can be found at: http://www.hollywoodsign.org.

About the Los Angeles Conservancy

The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. What began as a volunteer group in 1978 now has more than 5,000 member households, the largest membership of any local preservation organization in the US.

Media Contacts:

Elizabeth Johnson
Cavanah Communications

Betsy Isroelit
Hollywood Sign Trust