Hollywood Sign Watch: Preservationists Ask Californians for Help
In a last-ditch effort, The Trust for Public Land, has asked Californians to donate the final million dollars by April 30. Philanthropist Aileen Getty and The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, who have already donated $1 million each to the cause, are offering an additional $500,000 grant if the community reaches the benchmark.
While the land's current owner, Fox River Financial Resources Inc., agreed to push back the sale deadline, it warns that if its price is not met it plans to build four luxury homes on the rugged, historically untouched site.
Other speculation is that a hotel would be built behind the revered sign that's appeared onscreen with Hollywood greats Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner.
In 2002, the investor group acquired the land from Howard Hughes' estate for $1.7 million. Two years ago, the prized acreage was put on the market for $22 million, but the owners struck a deal to turn it over to the trust for $12.5 million.
Hollywood titans, film studios and Los Angeles residents have already helped raise $11 million. Donors such as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and major film studios contributed $3.1 million. On the streets of Los Angeles, residents have aided the effort by holding bake sales, rallies and a concert on Sunset Strip.
Supporters across the state and nationwide can send in contributions online at www.savehollywoodland.org, send in a text message to give $5, or become a Facebook fan of Kimpton Hotels, who will donate $1 for every new fan the company receives.
But there's a considerable gap to fill to make sure this part of cinematic history is preserved. According to the website, the public has raised $73,000 as of Monday morning.
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