Hugh Hefner Saves Hollywood
There's joy in Hollywood tonight, the 138 acres behind the Hollywood sign will go into a public land trust. The hotly contested land on Cahuenga Peak is zoned for luxury homes and there was fear that it would be sold to developers if $12.5 million wasn't raised to buy and protect the land. And here's where good old Hugh steps in. Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner made a $900,000 donation at the last minute so that the conservation group "Trust for Public Land" could buy the land. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that Hefner was the final donor. Schwarzenegger was quoted in the LA Times praising the donation and result as "the Hollywood ending we hoped for."
Hefner released a statement calling the Hollywood sign Hollywood's Eiffel Tower and "an important cultural landmark." Other donations came from Arianne Getty, Tiffany & Co. jewelers, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The sign itself is owned by Los Angeles but the land behind it belonged to investors who could have sold the rights to build four luxury mansions along the ridgeline for a tidy fortune (they were hoping for $22 million). The land will now be become part of the 4,200-acre Griffith Park sprawl. Recently the conservation group covered the Hollywood sign so that it instead read "Save the Peak."