Marilyn Monroe’s Los Angeles home named a historic cultural monument

Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood, Los Angeles, home has been saved from destruction after a year-long battle to save the property from developers. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles city council unanimously voted to designate the movie star’s Spanish colonial home a historic cultural monument.

“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,” councilmember Traci Park told the assembly.

Park said before the vote was passed that “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”.

But the council member said she would introduce a motion to evaluate tour bus restrictions in the neighborhood after complaints about unwanted traffic around the estate and would consider moving the home altogether, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Monroe fans argued that the home, which Monroe purchased for $75,000 in 1962, is an indelible piece of Hollywood history. But current owners of the property, heiress Brinah Milstein and her husband, reality TV producer Roy Bank, said the house had been remodeled so often it bore no resemblance to Monroe’s home.

The couple also argued that the city had used “illegal and unconstitutional conduct” in the fight over the home and described it as “the house where Marilyn Monroe occasionally lived for a mere six months before she tragically committed suicide”.

The battle with conservators has taken several twists and turns since the couple, who live next door, purchased the house last year for $8m. At one meeting, Milstein said she had watched the house “go unmaintained and unkept” and that it contained no trace of anything that indicated it had been Monroe’s home besides its location.

“We purchased the property because it is within feet of ours. And it is not a historic cultural monument,” Milstein said.

The Guardian