E.T. Legg Will Offer ‘Welcome to WeHo’ Sign for Improved Visibility of Sunset Billboard

A rendering of the proposed gateway project. If approved, the actual sign would be designed by the city of West Hollywood.
A rendering of the proposed Sunset Boulevard eastern gateway project. If approved, the actual welcome sign would be designed by the City of West Hollywood.

The West Hollywood City Council will be asked tonight to replace flowering pink trumpet trees on Sunset Boulevard at the city’s eastern boundary with Los Angeles with other shrubbery and trees to approve the visibility of an iconic billboard.

Pink Trumpet tree (Tabebuia impetiginosa)
Pink Trumpet tree (Tabebuia impetiginosa)

The billboard owner, E.T. Legg & Associates, is offering to spend $40,000 toward construction of “Welcome to West Hollywood” sign and a public art display at that location, which is just east of Pink Taco restaurant.

Legg proposes to replace nine of the 11 pink trumpet trees, which can grow as high as 50 feet and whose foliage can be as wide as 50 feet, with mature Mexican fan palms. The two trees currently in the area where the “welcome sign” is proposed, which obscure the view of the billboard behind them, would be replaced with shrubbery. Mexican fan palms have slender trunks topped with a relatively small crown of fronds and are a common sight in Los Angeles.

All in all, Legg proposes to spend as much as $250,000 to redevelop the property on which its billboard and the trees are located, which includes installing an irrigation system,

In a memo to the Council supporting the Legg proposal, the city’s Public Works Department notes: “The removal of the two trees can be perceived as precedent setting as it will increase and enhance visibility of the adjacent billboard. City

Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia_robusta )
Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia robusta )

Tree Removal Guidelines do not allow for removal of trees for purposes of enhancing sign visibility. However, the opportunity to enhance and program the eastern gateway to the Sunset Strip is a unique situation that provides a substantial public benefit and warrants Council consideration.”

E.T. Legg & Associates, is a major billboard company whose founder, Elmo Legg, helped create the Sunset Strip billboard culture. In the 1950s Legg purchased 8225 Sunset Blvd., which was built in 1926 by Preston Sturges, the famous screenwriter and director. When Legg purchased the property it housed the Players Club, a nightclub that once was home to celebrities such as Lana Turner and Fred Astaire and Clark Gable. Legg realized there was room next to the club and came up with the idea of erecting a billboard there.

Eventually it became the location of the Marlboro Man, perhaps the nation’s most famous billboard, which was removed in 1999 as part of a $206-billion agreement by cigarette makers to settle state lawsuits.

The Council will consider its proposal at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the City Council Chambers, 625 San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica.

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Robert H
Robert H
7 years ago

Ridiculous! Why is the City Council wasting ANY time on this. NO! We don’t need help adding any more visual blight in this town..

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
7 years ago

nothing says “welcome to west hollywood” like a tree chopped down to give drivers the unobstructed view of the billboards that they so badly need.

JJ
JJ
7 years ago

The City should not approve and then go about designing its own “Welcome to West Hollywood” sign. We don’t need a billboard company to do it for us.

Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs
Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs
7 years ago

Ah, yes. Billboards. Another “important issue” for us to waste more time on. Probably because no one wants to deal with the real issues, like traffic.

Alison
Alison
7 years ago

Just say NO

Lynn
Lynn
7 years ago

Another example of the need to trump beauty with banal commerciality. Do Beverly Hills and Pasadena have a preponderance of billboards? No, we don’t either. Folks already get the idea that they are in WEHO.

Todd Bianco
7 years ago

One more thing to say “NO” to. Geez, even the rendering is tacky. The billboard company just wants to make MORE money. And when this gets approved, at the last minute they will ask for an electronic billboard, so they can make even more money and annoy all the neighbors. It’s just got to stop.

mike dunn
7 years ago

Don’t remove the healthy trees unless it can be proved the replacement trees produce more oxygen

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