Marilyn Monroe’s Final Home Granted Monument Status, Sparing It From Planned Destruction

It’s official: Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood, Los Angeles, home—the sole residence she owned in her 36 years, and site of her 1962 death—will not be torn down, contrary to the plans of its current owners, who bought the Spanish colonial dwelling last August for $8.35 million. Outrage from fans of Monroe and of historic architecture ensued upon news of the homeowners’ intentions. In the wake of the uproar, local council member Traci Park launched an effort to designate the property a cultural-historic landmark. It took nearly a year, but on Wednesday, she succeeded: A unanimous vote from the LA City Council finalized its designation, protecting Monroe’s former abode from demolition, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“We have an opportunity to do something today that should’ve been done 60 years ago. There’s no other person or place in the city of Los Angeles as iconic as Marilyn Monroe and her Brentwood home,” Park reportedly said before the vote. “To lose this piece of history, the only home that Monroe ever owned, would be a devastating blow for historic preservation and for a city where less than 3% of historic designations are associated with women’s heritage.”

An aerial view of Monroe’s former Brentwood home taken in September 2023.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The owners of the property, heiress Brinah Milstein and producer Roy Bank, also own the neighboring parcel and scooped up Monroe’s final residence with plans to raze it and expand their estate. The couple sued the city last month, claiming that “backdoor machinations” were used to block them from tearing down the abode. They asserted that the home was not worthy of monument designation, due in part to remodels done to its interior in the years since Monroe resided there.

blackandwhite image of Marilyn Monroes Brentwood home lawn in foreground with stuffed dog toys home in backgronud...

Authorities on the lawn of Monroe’s home after her death. Per the LA Times, the stuffed animals pictured belonged to the icon’s dog, Maf.

Photo: Bettmann / Getty Images

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During her speech on Wednesday, Park discussed plans to potentially relocate the house to somewhere more accessible to visitors , or to restrict tour buses from the area—a sore spot for locals who are tired of frequent fan pilgrimages to the site.

The Gentlemen Prefer Blondes star bought the residence in February 1962 for $77,500 (roughly $800,000, when adjusted for inflation) and once referred to it as a “fortress where I can feel safe from the world.”

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