Could the Hollywood Sign Become a Voyeur Hotel?

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Rendering, Christian Bay-Jorgensen

Since 1923, the Hollywood sign has been a Los Angeles landmark, with its famous white letters welcoming aspiring movie stars, directors, screenwriters, and star-struck tourists to Tinseltown. But this world-famous sign is now in jeopardy of being obstructed by multi-million-dollar mansions unless the city of Los Angeles raises enough money to buy back the land behind the sign from private investors who want to sell the prime real estate.

Danish architect Christian Bay-Jorgensen has a plan to save the Hollywood peak, but it comes with its own share of controversy. His proposal would transform the 45-foot-high sign into an avant garde hotel to generate the preservation funds, hosting guests in each of its grand letters. The letters themselves would be expanded to make room for the accommodations, with the addition of observation decks for sweeping views over the city of Los Angeles.

"I'm a fan of the Hollywood sign and the unused spaces of America," Bay-Jorgensen told the Los Angeles Daily News. "It could be interesting to make it a center for such events as the Golden Globes and Oscars. This could be the future of the sign."

Would the city of Los Angeles ever agree to such a grandiose proposal? It's not likely. Hollywood Sign Trust, the conservation organization spearheading the fund-raising effort, is resistant to the idea, preferring to preserve the sign and the peak as it stands today. The organization filed for an extension this week so that they could continue their fund-raising drive, saying they were only $1.5 million away from the $12.5 million needed to buy the 138 acres back from the investors.
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