LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to begin a process to designate the former home of actress Marilyn Monroe, where she died of a drug overdose in 1962, as a historic landmark and cultural, blocking plans to demolish the property.
The motion to initiate consideration of the Spanish Colonial-style home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles for historic preservation was introduced by City Councilwoman Traci Park and approved unanimously the same day, according to her spokesperson Jamie Paige.
The action imposes “a temporary suspension of the demolition, substantial alteration or removal of any proposed site or structure pending designation,” as the language of the petition itself asserts.
Paige said she visited the property on Thursday and no work had been done on the site. A demolition permit was issued by the city to the house’s current owner, a little-known entity called Glory of the Snow Trust, she said.
Monroe purchased the 2,900 square foot (270 square meter) one-story house, the only house she ever owned independently, in the early 1960s for $75,000 after her third marriage ended, to playwright Arthur Miller, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The screen legend, star of such films as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “Some Like It Hot” and “The Misfits,” was found dead in a bedroom of the home in August 1962, at the age of 36 years. This is acute barbiturate poisoning.
The Times reported that the half-acre (0.20 hectare) property, which included a swimming pool and guest house, was purchased in 2017 for $7.25 million by Glory of the Snow LLC, then managed by a hedge fund manager. It was sold to the Glory of the Snow Trust for $8.35 million earlier this year.
No representative of the trust has been identified by Councilwoman Park, and the reason for the planned demolition remains unclear, Paige said. The Times said the trust is not listed next to any person’s name.
The announcement that the gated four-bedroom hacienda at the end of a cul-de-sac was to be torn down sparked expressions of outrage on social media, the Times reported.
The newspaper, citing a spokesperson for the Los Angeles City Planning Department, said the property had previously been nominated for historic landmark status, with a 2013 assessment describing its association with Monroe as “potentially significant,” but determined that “further research” was needed.
The actress named the house Cursum Perficio, a Latin phrase meaning “My journey ends here,” which adorned the tiles on the home’s porch, according to the Times.
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