It's another story of stoned celebrities in rehab. Only these are real stars.
Sixty-one stars from the Hollywood Walk of Fame — including those of Charlton Heston, Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra — have been removed and stored while a $500-million hotel-shopping-housing project is built on Vine Street near Hollywood Boulevard.
Eight of the terrazzo star squares crumbled as they were removed from the walkway.
"We saved the brass. They'll be rebuilt," said Tim Maxwell, project manager for Webcor Builders, which is involved in the construction project.
The stars were placed in a secure warehouse, where they'll remain until the project is completed in 2009.
The removal of the stars and the closure of a half-block near the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine has angered some people.
"This was done for a private developer. This was not done for the public's interest, like when the stars were removed back in the '90s for the Metro Red Line (subway) construction," said John Walsh, a longtime Hollywood activist. "Closing down sidewalks for years at a time like they do here would never happen in New York City."
The sidewalk needed reconstruction because it was improperly sloped and didn't meet federal requirements for providing access for wheelchairs, said Ken Summers, project director for Webcor Builders. The new sidewalk will be flatter, he said.
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