Heirs of Howard Hughes owned 138 acres near the sign until 2002, when a Chicago developer (no, not Sam Zell) bought the land on the cheap. Folks working to add the property to Griffith Park got permission from the Hollywood Sign Trust to drape banners over each letter. The sign first read SALLYWOOD, then SAVEYPOOD, and finally SAVE THE PEAK. Unauthorized makeovers include HOLLYWEED (pot) and HOLYWOOD (the pope). Security was tightened in 1994, and future retouchers will need to resort to computer-generated versions, like the video that pop singer Ke$ha created with digital fabrics and spray-paint pixels to superimpose her name on the sign.
Photograph courtesy flickr/upeslases