Hugh Heffner’s Last Minute $900,000 Saves The Hollywood Sign!April 27th, 2010 - 10:37 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason
Apr 27 (THAINDIAN NEWS) The land behind the Hollywood sign is no longer up for grabs by those who would turn it into a housing development. That is due to the fact that the Trust For Public Land conservation group has finally managed to raise the money which was needed to keep the land out of the hands of those developers, with Playboy’s Hugh Hefner coming in at the last minute to save the day!
Private funds made up 6.7 million dollars of the 12.5 million dollar total cost, the state of California raised 3.2 million dollars, and local funds made 2.7 million of the cost to save the 138 acres of land on Mount Lee in the Hollywood hills. 50 states, and 10 foreign countries, as well other individuals helped to make this possible. Those people included J. Paul Getty heir Aileen Getty, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Hefner. “My childhood dreams and fantasies came from the movies, and the images created in Hollywood had a major influence on my life and Playboy,” Hefner said.
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, donated the final $900,000 of the 12.5M dollars that was needed to protect the land. “It would have been a real shame after having restored it if it wound up sold,” Hefner told People.com. “It’s become something iconic and represents not only the town but represents Hollywood dreams, and I think that’s something worth preserving.” The sign which stands 45 feet high was built in 1923 and originally read “Hollywoodland”. Howard Hughes purchased the land behind the sign in 1940, planning to build a dream home for his girlfriend, Ginger Rogers. The two broke up, and the Hughes estate was later bought by a group of Chicago investors.
Developers wanted to tear the sign down and use the land for building luxury homes, which it was already zoned for. The nonprofit group had until April 30 to come up with the 12.5 million dollars they needed to buy the land. Although the time was drawing near, and they were still almost a million dollars short, Hugh Hefner came to the rescue. “I was aware of the fact that they were raising the money, but I only learned about a week ago that they were running out of time,” said Hefner. “They only had about a week and a half left to go.”
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Tags: childhood dreams, conservation group, ginger rogers, hollywood dreams, hollywood hills, hollywood sign, hollywoodland, housing development, howard hughes, hugh heffner, hugh hefner, hughes estate, j paul getty, nonprofit group, playboy hefner, playboy magazine, private funds, public land conservation, steven spielberg, tom hanks