Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Brentwood Home Faces Imminent Demolition

The iconic Brentwood home once owned by Marilyn Monroe is at risk of being demolished, sparking outrage among preservationists and fans of the Hollywood legend. The Spanish-style house, located in Los Angeles, is currently owned by a private individual who has applied for a demolition permit. This impending threat has ignited a heated debate between those who wish to preserve a crucial piece of Hollywood history and advocates for property rights who argue that the owner should have the freedom to decide the fate of their property.

Historical Significance of Marilyn Monroe’s Home

Marilyn Monroe purchased the Brentwood property in 1962, just months before her untimely death, making it the only home she ever owned independently. The house is not merely a structure but a symbol of Monroe’s brief period of domestic stability. The Spanish-style architecture, with its charming courtyards and secluded swimming pool, reflects Monroe’s desire for a private sanctuary away from the public eye. Preservationists argue that this house is more than just bricks and mortar; it is a tangible link to the personal life of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons.

The significance of Monroe’s Brentwood home extends beyond its association with her final days. It represents a poignant chapter in her life, a rare glimpse into the private world of a woman who captivated millions. The house has become a pilgrimage site for fans, who see it as a shrine to Monroe’s legacy and a testament to her enduring influence on popular culture. Its demolition would not only erase a piece of Monroe’s history but also a part of Hollywood’s golden era, a loss that many feel would be irreplaceable.

Preservation Efforts and Public Reaction

Local preservation groups have rallied to save Monroe’s home, urging the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to designate it as a historic landmark. Advocates emphasize the home’s cultural and historical significance, arguing that demolishing it would be erasing a crucial piece of Hollywood’s heritage.

The public reaction has been overwhelmingly supportive of the preservation efforts. Fans from around the world have expressed their dismay at the prospect of losing such a significant landmark. Social media campaigns and online petitions have garnered thousands of signatures, all calling for the protection of Monroe’s last residence. Media coverage has amplified these voices, bringing the debate into the spotlight and increasing pressure on city officials to intervene.

However, the battle is far from one-sided. There are voices within the community who argue that the current owner has the right to alter or demolish the property as they see fit. Real estate attorneys and property rights advocates point out that the owner’s autonomy should be respected, emphasizing the legal rights to modify or develop privately owned property.

Legal and Property Rights Perspectives

The legal aspects surrounding the preservation of Marilyn Monroe’s home are complex. In Los Angeles, the designation of a property as a historic landmark involves a stringent review process, which considers not only the historical significance but also the potential impact on the owner’s rights. Legal experts argue that while the cultural value of Monroe’s home is undeniable, it is crucial to balance this with the property rights of the current owner.

Historic designation can place significant restrictions on what an owner can do with their property. These restrictions can affect everything from renovations to the eventual sale of the property. It’s a delicate balance between preserving history and respecting the owner’s autonomy.

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety is tasked with reviewing the demolition permit, a process that includes public hearings and detailed evaluations. The outcome of this review could set a precedent for future cases involving historically significant properties. If the permit is denied, it could bolster efforts to preserve other landmarks across the city. Conversely, approval of the demolition could signal a shift towards prioritizing property rights over historical preservation.

As of now, the fate of Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood home hangs in the balance. The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety is still deliberating on the demolition permit, with a decision expected in the coming weeks. This period of uncertainty has only intensified the public’s interest and concern, highlighting the ongoing tension between development and preservation in Los Angeles.

The potential demolition of Monroe’s home serves as a stark reminder of the fragile nature of historical landmarks. In a city constantly evolving and expanding, the struggle to maintain connections to its storied past is ever-present. The outcome of this case will likely have far-reaching implications, influencing not only the preservation of Hollywood history but also the broader debate over property rights and development in urban areas.

Supporters of the preservation effort remain hopeful. They argue that saving Monroe’s home would honor her legacy and provide a lasting tribute to one of the most beloved figures in entertainment history. As the decision day approaches, Monroe’s admirers, both near and far, wait anxiously, united in their desire to see her final sanctuary preserved for future generations.


  • NY Times Article on Marilyn Monroe’s Home
  • Additional research from preservationist groups and legal perspectives on property rights.
  • Coldwell Banker ; Frank Povolny / Twentieth Century Fox / Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images