The sign featuring an anthropomorphic foot that’s been spinning at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Benton Way since 1985 is slated to leave Silver Lake this month—but there could still be hope to save the neighborhood landmark.
In late June it was announced that Sunset Foot Clinic, the medical office outside which the so-called Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign stands, would be relocating to nearby Rampart Village and taking its sign along with it. But Dr. Thomas Lim isn’t letting the sign go gentle into that good night (or to Westlake, as it were). The podiatrist and preservationist is hosting a pop-up shop inside the clinic featuring Happy Foot/Sad Foot merch by local artists, including pins from World Famous Original, handmade pillows by Billy Kheel, and T-shirts from Y-Que. According to a post on Billy Kheel’s Instagram, the pop-up is meant to raise both awareness and “funds for [the sign’s] designation as a historic resource to the people of Los Angeles.”
Over the years, the sign has become a sort of fortune-telling tool for locals. As comedian Charlene Yi put it, “Legend has it that if you pass the rotating sign and you see the happy foot, you’re gonna have a good day. But if you see the sad foot, well—you’re fucked.”
A petition to save the sign is also circulating; its two asks are: “(1) Council District 13 and the Cultural Heritage Commission support designating the sign an Historic Cultural Monument to preserve it in place; and (2) the owners of the site incorporate the current sign into their plans for a new restaurant on site.” The petition currently has around 1,400 signatures, just shy of its goal of 1,500.
The Happy Foot/Sad Foot pop-up will run through the end of August.