Unveiling the Welcome to Los Angeles Sign

When you think of Los Angeles, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many people, it’s the iconic Welcome to Los Angeles sign.

welcome to LA sign

This famous landmark has been a symbol of hope and dreams for millions of people around the world. From tourists to locals, everyone who passes by this sign feels a sense of excitement and anticipation.

Location of the sign

The Welcome to Los Angeles sign is located in the median of the 405 Freeway, near the Getty Center Drive exit. It is a prime location, as it can be seen by drivers heading northbound and southbound on the freeway. The Welcome to Los Angeles sign sits atop a small hill, making it even more visible to passersby.

History of the sign 

The Welcome to Los Angeles sign was first erected in 1924 by a local real estate developer named H.J. Whitley. The sign originally read “Hollywoodland,” and it was meant to promote a housing development in the Hollywood Hills. However, after the development failed, the sign was left to deteriorate. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to revamp the sign and remove the last four letters. The sign now reads “Hollywood.” The sign quickly became a landmark and a symbol of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Tourists from all over the world would flock to the sign to take pictures and experience the magic of Tinseltown.

Renovations of the Welcome to Los Angeles sign

The Welcome to Los Angeles sign has gone through several renovations over the years. In 1978, the sign was again in bad shape, and it needed a major overhaul. Nine companies and individuals donated $27,777 each to replace the deteriorating letters. The Hollywood Sign Trust was also established to maintain and preserve the landmark.

welcome to los angeles sign

Fascinating insights about the sign

One interesting fact about the Welcome to Los Angeles sign is that it was almost destroyed in the 1970s. The sign was slated for demolition to make way for new development projects. However, a group of activists and celebrities rallied together to save the sign. The “Save the Hollywood Sign” campaign raised $250,000 to restore the sign, and it remains standing to this day.

Common inquiries about the “Welcome to Los Angeles” sign

How can we visit the “Welcome to Los Angeles” sign?

Visiting the “Welcome to Los Angeles” sign is a unique experience, and there are several ways to do so. One of the most popular methods is by taking a hike up Mount Lee, where the sign is located. The Mount Lee Drive and Griffith Observatory trails offer stunning views of the sign and the city. Alternatively, you can take a tour. Various bus and horseback tours are available, offering different perspectives of the iconic landmark. Do note that access to the sign itself is restricted, and touching or climbing the sign is against the law. You can view the sign from various points in the city, including Griffith Observatory, Lake Hollywood Park, and Mulholland Drive. Remember to respect the surrounding neighborhoods and obey all parking and traffic regulations.

What is the best time to take pictures of the sign?

The best time to take pictures of the “Welcome to Los Angeles” sign largely depends on the kind of photograph you’re aiming for. For clear, detailed images, the golden hours—shortly after sunrise or just before sunset—provide the most stunning natural light. The soft glow of the sun creates dramatic shadows and illuminates the sign beautifully against the backdrop of the sky. However, if you’re interested in capturing the bright, bustling energy of Los Angeles, midday shots with the sun high above can also be quite effective. Nighttime shots are equally captivating, as the city lights gleam in the background, giving the sign a distinct silhouette. Remember to check the weather forecast before planning your photography excursion, as visibility can be greatly affected by cloud cover or smog.

What happens if the “Welcome to Los Angeles” sign needs to be repaired again?

Should the “Welcome to Los Angeles” sign require further repairs, the responsibility falls to The Hollywood Sign Trust, the nonprofit organization responsible for maintaining and preserving the sign. The Trust, funded by donations and sponsorship deals, coordinates any necessary renovations to ensure that the iconic landmark stays in optimal condition. In case of significant damage, campaigns may be launched to raise funds from the public, similar to the “Save the Hollywood Sign” campaign in the 1970s. It’s all part of the ongoing effort to preserve this cherished symbol of Hollywood’s rich history and cultural significance.

sign welcome to LA


The Welcome to Los Angeles sign is more than just a landmark. It is a symbol of hope and dreams for millions of people around the world. From its humble beginnings as a housing development sign to its current status as a global icon, the sign has played an important role in shaping the history and culture of Los Angeles. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, the sign remains a must-see attraction that embodies the spirit of Hollywood and the City of Angels.

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