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Activists raise $8M to save Hollywood sign

February 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Over the last week one of Los Angeles' best-known landmarks, the Hollywood sign, has gone from a landmark to a high-profile plea for some serious money.

The cover on the historic sign the read "Save the Peak" came down on Tuesday. The future of the property around the sign is still up in the air.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge and the trust for public land raised $8 million to stop the sale of land around the sign. While that is a lot of money, $12.5 million was needed to buy a 135-acre piece of land that sits just west of the sign.

A Chicago real-estate investment firm owns that land and is threatening to build luxury homes there unless the trust buys it first and the deadline is just two months away.

"That beautiful view that you see, the Hollywood sign, could be harmed," LaBonge said. "Your view could be deteriorated."

The worry is that the Hollywood sign could soon be sharing the hill with new neighbors.

"We making some tremendous progress," Sam Hodder from the Trust for Public Land said. "We've got a long way to go and it's going to a lot of shoulders to the wheel.

The Trust for Public Land has until April 14 to the additional $4.5 million.