Since a group of Chicago investors bought Cahuenga Park in 2002, the future of the infamous Hollywood sign and the area that surrounds it has been in jeopardy; the investors planned to sell the area to developers, with the notion of building five luxury homes on the plot, exploiting the stunning 360° views of the Los Angeles Basin and San Fernando Valley. This news caused and international uproar, as the sign and its surrounding natural area has become a symbol for the old glamour and charm of the Los Angeles film industry.
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has always had a hand in the upkeep and restoration of the Hollywood sign, even hosting a refurbishment ‘auction’ in 1978 to raise money for its maintenance. This time around, Hefner has donated $900,000 to the communal fund to purchase Cahuenga Park from its current Chicago owners, Fox River Financial Resources Ic. A total of $12.5m is needed to buy the park and a host of public and private investors from across the world have donated money to the campaign, known as the ‘Trust for Public Land’.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently said: "I am proud we were able to come together and create a public-private partnership to protect this historic symbol that will continue to welcome dreamers, artists and Austrian bodybuilders for generations to come."