Reporter gets first-hand look at Hollywood sign’s makeover

| November 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

PENFOLD BRAVES steep decline for interview.

Who knew that among all his other jobs, LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge would become a spokesperson for Hollywood’s biggest star while she got a facelift? The operation was huge, in every sense of the word.

To get close to this star meant meeting LaBonge way up in the hills. From there he took us beyond a locked gate and then continued the climb, driving  up the steep, winding road to the very top where you peer down at the back of the giant “H” of the Hollywood sign.

“C’mon,” said the ever energetic LaBonge “have you abseiled before?” He wasn’t joking. From the top of the hill you then grabbed a rope and slid, stumbled and galloped down to find a group of painters taking on the biggest job in town.

As LaBonge explained: “We welcome the world to Hollywood and when they get here, just about everyone wants to get a photo of the sign. But lately it had started to rust and look bad.”  Hollywood needed a makeover, badly.

The councilman isn’t all that surprised that just about every other day reporters from all over America and around the world are calling him, asking about the sign.

Over the past month, while the painters stripped back the 45-foot-high letters and repainted, LaBonge took dozens of reporters and camera crews up to explain what’s going on.

On this day the councilman was giving a TV crew from Australia a tour while Fox 11 News was beaming live from the foot of the sign.

“It’s beautiful. Look around,” he tells the reporters.

“There’s no clutter up here, say like 42nd Street in New York City. Just one big wonderful and now pristine word that everyone around the world recognizes. It’s so famous we can’t afford not to look after it.”

The Sherwin Williams paint company contributed the paint and they needed plenty—75 gallons per letter.

Now, 35 years after her last make up job, Hollywood is once again ready for her “close up.”

By Robert Penfold
Guest columnist

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Category: Real Estate

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