GLASSELLAND Sign Mystery: Solved, Sort Of

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GLASSELLAND (Photo by i_hate_my_screen_name via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Okay, so what is the deal with the letters spelling out GLASSELLAND on the hillside in Glassell Park?

L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez decided to look into the mystery of the 10-foot-tall letters, and wound up learning it was the work of a public artists who is looking to say something about the neighborhood.

Since TheEastsiderLA posted about the sign at the end of April, a comment on that post led Lopez to a Seattle-area phone number that offered a recording that began "Welcome to Glasselland" and went into a "bogus history of the sign."

Another very (very!) iconic sign in Los Angeles once upon a time was appended with L-A-N-D, of course: The Hollywood Sign. That was part of a real estate promotion to sell property in the Hollywood Hills.

So is GLASSELLAND a real estate thing?

Nope.

It's actually the work of the artist who Lopez says goes simply by the name Justin. Psst, Mr. Lopez: Your own paper provides Justin's last name, Stadel, in an article about his previous work.

Justin Stadel is "the Clint Eastwood guy, who planted the cowboys to say something about the proximity of the Wild West to urban sprawl in the land of myth-making." He also didn't want to talk to Lopez about the sign. According to the Times piece about the Eastwood art, Stadel is a Glassell Park resident.

While the mystery of WHO put the sign there is solved, the WHY is up for grabs. Is it harkening back to the HOLLYWOODLAND era, in some sort of social commentary, as Lopez suggests, about gentrification in the area? Or are we just meant to be really stoked on Glassell Park?