Save the Happy Foot Sad Foot sign!

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Ann Hendrix
Ann Hendrix signed this petition

The Sunset Foot Clinic on Sunset and Benton Way is moving, and the iconic rotating Happy Foot Sad Foot sign is currently slated to come down at the end of August when the clinic moves.

The sign was installed in 1985 and has become a Southern California icon. One of the last signs grandfathered to rotate in Los Angeles, locals claim that it can tell the future – or at least whether the observer is going to have a good (Happy Foot) or bad (Sad Foot) day, depending on which side they see first.

Featured in several novels and multiple songs and videos, as well inspiring the HaFoSaFo nickname of its surrounding area, the Happy Foot Sad Foot sign is a Silver Lake original, and a Los Angeles cultural resource to be preserved.

In the 1990s, the LA Department of Cultural Affairs saved, landmarked and restored many signs across Los Angeles. Landmarking now falls under the jurisdiction of the Cultural Heritage Commission via the Office of Historic Resources within the LA Planning Department.

We ask that:

(1)  Council District 13 and the Cultural Heritage Commission support designating the sign an Historic Cultural Monument to preserve it in place; and

(2)  the owners of the site incorporate the current sign into their plans for a new restaurant on site.

Please sign to help keep the Happy Foot Sad Foot sign prognosticating for all Angelenos – current and future – and may all your days be Happy Foot! 

 

 

Notable quotes

From Jonathan Lethem's You Don't Love Me Yet:

"Through her kitchen’s rear window on Reservoir Street Lucinda could see, over the rooftop of a tire shop and against a background of shaggy palms, the high rotating sign of the Foot Clinic. It depicted a cartoon foot with features and tiny limbs: one side a happy, cared-for foot, beaming and confident, white-gloved hands jubilantly upraised, the other side a moaning, broken-down foot, neglected and weary, grasping at crutches and with its big toe wreathed in bandages. Lucinda’s view took in a three-quarters slice of the sign as it turned in its vigil over Sunset Boulevard: happy foot and sad foot suspended in dialogue forever. The two images presented not so much a one-or-the-other choice as an eternal marriage of opposites, the emblem of some ancient foot-based philosophical system. This was Lucinda’s oracle: one glance to pick out the sad or happy foot, and a coin was flipped, to legislate any decision she’d delegated to the foot god.

(used with permission)

 

"The sign, which I refer to as Happy Foot vs. Sad Foot, has always loomed large over my LA experience. Soon after I moved to LA I was drawn to the sign which I drove pass as I traveled between bars and house parties in Silver Lake. I just had to know more about these characters lives. With this in mind I drew a zine all about a day in their mundane lives. Everything going well for Happy Foot and everything turning to shit for Sad Foot. Next I reached out to my favorite LA eastside band, Yacht, and they commissioned a music video based on my comic. It brings me so much joy that my animation is now forever linked with this iconic sign."

-Mike Hollingsworth (director and animator of Hard World by YACHT)