Marilyn Monroe home slated for demolition is saved — for now

Publish Date: September 12, 2023

Written by Lillian Dickerson

- Originally published at Inman News - Lillian Dickerson

No one can predict the future of real estate, but you can prepare. Find out what to prepare for and pick up the tools you’ll need at Virtual Inman Connect online Nov. 1-2, 2023. And don’t miss Inman Connect New York on Jan. 23-25, 2024, where AI, capital and more will be center stage. Bet big on the future and join us at Connect.

Owners of the Brentwood home where Marilyn Monroe spent her final moments have at least temporarily been halted in their tracks after filing for a demolition permit for the property.

The Los Angeles City Council has stepped in with a ninth-hour motion to establish the home as a Historic-Cultural Monument, led by councilmember Traci Park, whose district includes Brentwood.

“Unfortunately, the Department of Building and Safety issued a demolition permit before my team and I could fully intervene and get this issue resolved,” Park said during a press conference Friday.

After news broke on Wednesday that the historic property was under threat, Park said city offices were flooded with calls by concerned citizens to save the 1920s-era bungalow.

“At this point, it may be into the thousands,” Park said. “All of our phones in city hall and the field office have been ringing off the hook for the last 48 hours.”

On Friday, the city council unanimously approved Park’s emergency motion to initiate proceedings to designate the house as a historic building. While L.A.’s Office of Historic Resources conducts a study and analysis of the home, demolition will remain on hold.

The identity of the current homeowners remains a mystery, as the property was last purchased under a limited liability company, which then sold the home to a trust in July.

“We have not been contacted at all by the property owner,” Park told CNN. “Most certainly they were aware of who owned the home previously and who lived and died there.”

Monroe purchased the property in 1962 for $77,000, which would be about $790,000 today, adjusted for inflation. About six months after acquiring the home, Monroe died of a barbiturate overdose in her bedroom on Aug. 5, 1962 at the age of 36.

The home on Fifth Helena Drive currently has an estimated value of $8.46 million, according to Zillow.

Get Inman’s Luxury Lens Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. A weekly deep dive into the biggest news in the world of high-end real estate delivered every Friday. Click here to subscribe.

Email Lillian Dickerson

You may also like…