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Temporary advertisement for a housing development becomes a worldwide icon

The sign

Just below the summit of Mount Lee, this arrangement of giant letters in sans serif font attracts thousands of tourists.  These tourists, much like ourselves, take the drive or hike up Beachwood Drive to pose for a cell phone photo.  Much to our dismay, we read that these letters aren’t the original ones, which were made of wood and steel, each 50′-0″ tall and anchored on telephone poles.  Originally, there were 4,000 light bulbs outlining each letter. There was even a guy, Albert Koeth who lived in a small shack behind the “L’s” of the sign and for fifteen years, he would scale the letters with 20-watt bulbs stuffed in his shirt, replacing any that had burned out.

This “remake” was constructed in 1978 when the old was torn down and in their place were 20′-0″ steel beams, drilled into the earth and cemented in concrete.  These old letters were replaced with new ones constructed of corrugated steel coated white enamel and no lights.  However, both signs have been advertisements for a promised life high above the smog of the city, a dream of wealth, fame, glamour.

By the 1920’s, the time for a large-scale hillside development was inspired by the increase in private car ownership.  The hundreds of acres of foothills were put on the market promising to put the hustle and bustle of Hollywood at a distance. Paths for hiking and biking were cleared through the mountains and homes were built in various styles such as English Tudor, California Revival, French Normandy and Mediterranean.  In order to shout out to others and promise a clean, healthful atmosphere and beautiful outlook of the hills, former topographer, John Roche, penciled out the large temporary Hollywoodland sign.


I think it was in 1949 when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to tear down the “land” and to provide bonds for maintenance and insurance in case of liability suits and damage.  Thus, advertising the city and movie business, not the housing development.

Because these letters are seen as a potential target for terrorists and teenagers, the letters are protected by infrared cameras, a satellite view, and 24 hour surveillance.  We had a good time seeing these letters anyway and took in the view of the hills at dusk.






Our House and homeless children

Arkansas ranks 31st among the states in child homelessness, 43rd with risk for child homelessness and 49th for child wellbeing for health problems of children below poverty level.

  • Children who are homeless are 4x more likely to show delayed development
  • 2x as likely to have learning disabilities as non-homeless children
  • By age of 12, 83% have been exposed to at least 1 serious violent event
  • Almost 25% have witnessed acts of violence within their families
  • Are sick 4x more than other children and have 5x more gastrointestinal problems
  • Have high rates of obesity due to nutritional deficiencies
  • Have 3x the rate of emotional and behavioral problems compared to non-homeless children

What do homeless children worry about?

  • They worry about not having a place to live
  • They worry that they will not have a place to sleep
  • They worry that something bad will happen to their family and that their family will have to be separated.
  • They worry that they will be hungry again
  • They worry about whether or not they will ever be able to have a friend

So, we are glad to be a part of the team with Our House, Inc. and Nabholz Construction Services to build a new 20,000 square foot Children’s Center – just for children. A place where kids can be kids, a place to learn and grow and a place to help break the cycle of homelessness.

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Homeless Shelter Director: "There's Never Enough Space" Our House in Little Rock, AR

NBC’s Ann Curry talks to Our House residents.

No Place Like Home

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NBC’s Ann Curry talks to Our House Executive Director Georgia Mjartan.

There’s  Never Enough Space

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Quy Wins Minority Business Award, Best Hair Salon, Best Manicure/Pedicure and Finalist for Best Day Spa

A complete remodel in just four weeks! Quy’s goal was to inconvenience her customers as little as possible. Herron Horton Architects understood her vision and worked closely with Quy to make the most of her space. Bell Construction committed to a firm finish date with no excuses working long hours, seven days a week. Quy is dedicated to her customers and her staff and has been voted the number one salon and spa more often and by more people than any other place in the Little Rock area.


In awe of Rudbeckia Maxima

The great coneflower emerges again this year! It’s such a show to see these coneflowers sprout up to 7 feet tall! The Rudbeckia maxima is a perennial native to Arkansas, Louisiana and parts of Texas. It thrives in hot, humid summers which seem to describe today and they attract butterflies, birds, provide nectar for Monarchs and Swallowtails.

We are in awe of this plant and can’t wait to watch it explode with its deep, gold flowers with black centers.


Open Studio at 2nd Friday Art Night

Check out Jeff’s art while enjoying downtown – 2nd Friday Art Night May 13, 2011 from 5-8 PM. Located in our office / studio at 1219 spring street in downtown little rock. We will also be showing recent work from Gabriel Griffith. Mark your calender – you won’t want to miss it.


Little Rock National Airport news

$53 million has been budgeted to bring the Little Rock Airport terminal facility into compliance with current needs and enable it to meet future ones.

Peterson, a principal of the Minneapolis firm Architecture Alliance International, has accumulated twenty-two years of experience in airport architecture and design while working on thirty-three airport projects around the world. Having grown up in Greenbrier, Arkansas, where his parents still live, Peterson has come to know the city’s airport not only through the eyes of a professional but as a passenger as well.

We’d like to hear what he has to say and see what has been designed for the airport and the Little Rock community – On Tuesday, April 19th at 6:00pm, come hear Eric Peterson present, “Vision 2020: Little Rock National Airport Transformed”.  It will be at the Arkansas Arts Center preceded by a 5:30pm reception.   Free and open to the public.

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If you never did, you should….

We’ve never built a raised garden for ourselves, so we decided to build some this past weekend.  We successfully planted one bed with sugar snap peas, golden beets, atomic red carrots, Little finger carrots, Saxa II radishes, Wild Rocket arugula, European Mesclun Salad mix, and Lettuce Rocky top mix.  We hope to have blueberries along the east and south sidewalk but need to research the varieties.

We enjoy varied outdoors spaces with different solar orientation – so, we planted the raised garden beds for the southeast exposure and can’t wait to see what sprouts. We welcome any suggestions. We’ll keep you posted on any progress.

All I can say is that it should be fun….and delicious.

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Santiago Calatrava, Dr. Gail Thomas and Dallas build a bridge

Dr. Gail Thomas, President and CEO of the Trinity Trust Foundation in Dallas, will speak at the Clinton School of Public Service on Tuesday, February 15th at 6:00pm.  One of the features of the talk will be on the cable-stayed bridge designed by the internationally acclaimed architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava.  Free and open to the public.   Reserve a seat at [email protected]

The replacement for the Broadway Bridge could be a creative piece, so long as we allow creativity not just in design but also in financing. There’s a way….Come hear how Dr. Gail Thomas, Santiago Calatrava and Dallas made it happen.

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