Neighbors oppose landmark status for Marilyn Monroe's former home in Brentwood

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Neighbors oppose landmark status for Marilyn Monroe's former LA home
A vote could come this week on preserving a piece of Hollywood history: Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood home.

BRENTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A vote could come this week on preserving a piece of Hollywood history: Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood home.

The iconic actress only lived in the home for a few months, but it draws tourists from around the world. However, not everyone thinks the home should be considered a historical cultural monument.

Monroe died in the home more than 60 years ago. Visitors can get as close to the exterior wall, but that hasn't stopped tourists and tour busses from trying to access the property.

Many residents are against the designation and fear it will bring more visitors to the neighborhood.

"There were two intruders who came in looking for Marilyn Monroe's site they said where she was murdered, so it can be very scary sometimes," neighbor Monique Kagan said.

The effort to declare the home a historical cultural monument is being led by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Traci Park, who represents Brentwood. She has been fighting to preserve the home from being demolished.

"I can't imagine any home in the city of Los Angeles more worthy of this designation than Marilyn Monroe's home," Park said. "It's also a very fair request from our community and constituents that their interest and privacy be respected as well, so when I hear things about trespassing, that really crosses a line."

The home is owned by a family who lives next door to the property and they, along with Marilyn Monroe's estate, support a proposal to physically move the house to a location where it can be enjoyed by the public.

"The house is not visible from the street. It will never be accessible to the public even if it's designated as a landmark. It is our client's property, and they can do whatever they want with the property," said Benjamin Hanelin, a lawyer for the family who owns the former Marilyn Monroe residence.

"Designating it as a landmark doesn't do anything to help the public, does nothing to address the community's concerns," Hanelin said. "In fact, it's only going to worsen the impacts on the community."

"I think it's a very creative idea. It would certainly involve a lot of work and funding," Park said. "We'd have to find a suitable location for it, but if that's something that there is community interest and support in doing, and it would provide the access that I think is an important part of preservation, it may just be a solution that works for everyone."

The lawyer for the owners of the home also says designating it sets a terrible precedent for the city, which is filled with homes that celebrities have lived in for short periods of time. He says a home with a passing connection to a celebrity doesn't meet the standards for designating it a landmark.