OC Answer Man: What’s the connection between Dana Point and the Hollywood sign?

In 1923, developer Sidney Woodruff constructed an enormous hillside sign in L.A., advertising a planned community: HOLLYWOODLAND. Later, the letters LAND were lost, and a star was born. Woodruff later led a syndicate to reboot a failed subdivision called Dana Point. In buying the land, he acquired some preexisting infrastructure, including a bluff-top gazebo and streets named for the colored ship lanterns that lighted them. He planned and marketed a resort-like community with Mediterranean architecture and a marina, and built houses, businesses, a pier, and the beginnings of a hotel. Woodruff expanded the colored lantern motif and brought in flowering plants to match the lantern color of each street. But when the Great Depression hit in 1929, the town’s growth screeched to a halt until after World War II. Then, as it did in the rest of the county, the boom began.

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