Column: Local man made sure Hollywood Sign would last

Illustrating once again that there’s a local angle to everything, a longtime Upland man, Cornelius Van Dam, was the structural engineer who oversaw the new version of the Hollywood Sign in 1978. The modest Van Dam, long retired, now lives in a retirement home in Ontario and says he was never a publicity hound. Nevertheless, at his wife’s urging, he talked to me for Wednesday’s column.

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  • Gary Flanagan

    David, did you know that the original sign was auctioned off and purchased by an artist named Bill Mack. He painted many hollywood themed pictures on pieces of the sign. His info can be found at:

    • davidallen909

      That info turned up when I was reading about the sign. Everybody thought the original had been junked, but someone had saved the pieces.

      • Gary Flanagan

        I know someone that owns several of the pieces, they are pretty cool. Bill Mack is done with the art project, but still has the “H” at his studio…

  • SAWZ

    Shame on those who were in charge of chronicling the historical facts of the Hollywood sign! Not to give mention of the structural engineer that made sure the sign did not fall over with the first wind gust–shameful. I hope Mr. Van Dam is as proud of his wife as she is of him.