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Marilyn Monroe's former home declared a national landmark, saved from demolition

The legendary actress purchased the home in 1962.
Marilyn Monroe's residence
Posted at 8:21 AM, Jun 27, 2024

After a yearlong fight, Marilyn Monroe’s former home in Los Angeles has been declared a national landmark, protecting it from being demolished.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the nomination to designate the residence a Historic-Cultural Monument on June 26.

The Spanish-Colonial-style residence, where the legendary actress lived, is located in the LA neighborhood of Brentwood, on Helena Drive.

A battle to preserve the property began a year ago when heiress Brinah Milstein and her reality TV producer husband Roy Bank purchased the house for $8.35 million and drafted plans to demolish it, according to the Los Angeles Times. They owned the neighboring property and were looking to expand their estate.

But the HCM designation strikes down any such plans from happening.

Before the vote, councilmember Traci Park — who represents the 11th District, where the home is located — recounted the significance of Monroe’s home.

“There is no other person or place in the city of Los Angeles as iconic as Marilyn Monroe and her Brentwood home,” Park said in her remarks, according to local station KTLA. “Some of the most world-famous images ever taken of her were in that home, on those grounds, near her pool, and that Marilyn tragically died there forever ties her in time and place to this very home.”

“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,” Park also said, according to the L.A. Times.

Previously, the homeowners had argued that Monroe’s residence had been remodeled several times and did not look like the home the starlet bought in the ‘60s, the L.A. Times said.

“We have watched it go unmaintained and unkept. We purchased the property because it is within feet of ours,” Milstein had said back in January, according to the Times.

Following the decision to preserve the residence, the Los Angeles Conservancy applauded the outcome.

“Thank you to everyone who rose up to meet this challenge by voicing their support on social, via email, and in person. And we are particularly grateful to the bold leadership of Councilmember Traci Park and her team: this designation would not have happened without their passion and dedication,” the organization said in a statement.

Monroe purchased the home for $75,000 in 1962, KTLA said. She lived there for six months before dying of a drug overdose at the age of 36.