Friday, March 18, 2011

L.A.'s Defining Icon

Unlike other American landmarks, the Hollywood sign doesn't represent a specific image, historic locale or event, but rather "embodies the American yearning to stand out of the landscape, to be famous," writes Slate in an interesting article on the transformation of the iconic sign from real estate billboard to movie symbol. "It reflects the impulse to performance and singularity that has been part of the American psyche since our country first appeared, unprecedented, on the world stage in the late 18th century."

More than that, the Hollywood sign embodies the history of Los Angeles -- a city dreamed and developed by local business concerns as a turnkey concept, a scripted project, and marketed as an attractive commodity. In that respect, the Hollywood sign is the perfect symbol for Los Angeles. Slideshow retracing the sign's history.
photo LA Frog

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