Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood home was granted a temporary reprieve from demolition after a unanimous L.A. City Council vote on Friday.
Councilmember Traci Park was rushing against the clock to save Monroe’s final residence after learning Wednesday that the owner, Glory of the Snow Trust, had requested a permit to have the iconic Spanish Colonial residence demolished.
“Immediately my team and I sprung into action. … But unfortunately, the Department of Building and Safety issued a demolition permit before my team and I could fully intervene and get this issue resolved,” she said at a press conference held shortly before Friday’s City Council meeting.
The 11th District councilmember wore red lipstick and styled her short blond hair à la Monroe as she gave an impassioned speech announcing she would be bringing a motion to initiate consideration of historic cultural monument status for Monroe’s home.
“I am here with you today as the custodian of the district which is home to Marilyn Monroe’s beloved final residence. I am also here today as a defender of our city’s rich history and heritage,” Park said.
The motion presented to the council called for immediate action to initiate consideration of the home as a city historic-cultural monument. It further stated that this would not deprive the property owner of any rights, but said the historic and cultural merits of the property need to be assessed.
Many Angelenos weighed in on the matter during the public comment portion of the meeting. Some slammed the urgency around preserving Monroe’s home while the city faces a homeless crisis, while others spoke to the importance of honoring women by saving the home.
“Preserving our history is a dignity that we as Angelenos have,” said Stacey Segarra-Bohlinger, a Sherman Oaks neighborhood council representative. “It is our duty and our honor to preserve and protect historical monuments. Developers are destroying our city for personal gain. It is a disgrace and should not be allowed.”
The City Council then voted unanimously to move forward in considering the home for hstoric-cultural monument status.
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“This is a great win for the time being,” Park told The Times in an interview after the meeting. “What is most important about what we achieved today is that this automatically and immediately triggers a temporary stay on all building permits while this matter is under consideration by the cultural heritage commission and the City Council.”
As for the property owner — Glory of the Snow Trust, whose trustee is Andrew Sahure — paperwork issued Friday by the city’s Department of Building and Safety and shared by Park’s office stated that the department intends to revoke the demolition permits.
This is the first major step toward saving the home. Moving forward, the issue will proceed to the Office of Historic Resources for research, assessment and analysis. It will then go to the Historic Cultural Commission for findings and recommendations that will then make their way back to the full City Council. The entire process must completed within 75 days.
“It has been a whirlwind 48 hours,” Park told The Times. “We are all extremely relieved that things went the way they did today.”
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During Park’s press conference, she voiced the importance of fighting demolition of the only home the “Some Like It Hot” actor ever owned.
“Like the many, many hundreds of people from all over the world who have contacted my office over the last 48 hours, I am extremely concerned about this and I recognize the need for urgent action by the city,” Park said.
“For people all over the world, Marilyn Monroe was more than just a movie icon. Her story from her challenging childhood growing up in orphanages and foster homes to becoming a global sensation is a shining example of what it means to overcome adversity.”
The councilmember quoted Monroe in her speech, saying, “Sometimes good things fall apart so that even better things can fall together.”
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Park said the statement echoed the actor’s life’s journey, which she called “a testament to everyone who has faced hardship and risen above it.”
“Her path was full of obstacles, but she knew no limits, and she left an indelible mark on Hollywood and the entire world. Despite her iconic status, Marilyn Monroe constantly battled for fair compensation, often earning far less than men, and far less than what she was actually worth. An issue that women are still fighting to correct today.”
Park said Monroe’s Brentwood home stood as a “touching reminder of her final days” and was a place where the troubled starlet, who died in 1962 at age 36, found peace. The star handpicked from her journeys from around the world “each detail of the home from its wooden beam ceilings to the tiles,” she said.
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The residence, built in 1929, was the only home the actress owned independently. Monroe bought the property in the early 1960s after the end of her third marriage, to playwright Arthur Miller, for $75,000.
Earlier this year, the home’s owner was listed as Glory of the Snow LLC, managed by Emerald Lake hedge fund manager Dan Lukas and his wife, Anne Jarmain. Lukas and Jarmain did not respond to The Times’ request for comment.
They bought the 2,900-square-foot hacienda for $7.25 million in 2017. In July, Glory of the Snow LLC sold the property to Glory of the Snow Trust, i.e. Sahure, for $8.35 million. According to Park, Sahure hasn’t submitted any plans indicating what he intends to do with the property after demolition of the house.
“This home is more than just a brick-and-mortar building. It is a symbol of her journey, and our identity as Angelenos,” Park said. “The global concern that has flooded my office over the last couple of days about the potential demolition of this historic site reaffirms its significance. The overwhelming sentiment here is clear: This home must be preserved as a crucial piece of Hollywood’s and the city of Los Angeles’ history, culture and legacy.”
The Times’ staff writer Julia Wick contributed to this report.
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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.