Marilyn Monroe House Bulldozed: Actress’ Former California Home Demolished, Failed To Get Landmark Status

June 21, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Marilyn Monroe’s house bulldozed as fans were trying to save it. Monroe lived in the California home from 1944 to 1945 when she was known as Norma Jeane Mortenson and was launching her modeling career.

marilyn monroe house bulldozed

Anger and frustration are some of the emotions felt by fans as they watched Marilyn Monroe‘s house bulldozed to the ground. The demolition happened just three days before it was scheduled to be considered for landmark status by the state of California. Monroe’s former home located at 5258 Hermitage Avenue in Valley Village apparently fit the following criteria to be preserved:

A historical or cultural monument is any site building, or structure of particular historical or cultural significance to the state, such as historic structures or sites: in which the broad cultural, political, economic, or social history of the nation, state, or community is reflected or exemplified; or which are identified with historic personages or with important events in the main currents of national, state, or local history.

An 18-year-old Marilyn Monroe, who was known by her birth name Norma Jeane Mortenson, resided in the backyard home from 1944 to 1945 with her husband, James Dougherty, along with his parents. The pair got married in June 1942, six months after the U.S. entered World War II and divorced after he returned from serving in Asia in 1946.

Jennifer Getz and other historic preservationists had nominated the house nicknamed the “Dougherty House” built in 1912 for designation as a city Historic-Cultural Monument. They lost their bid because Monroe did not live there during a productive period.

During that period, she worked inspecting parachutes and spraying fire retardant on airplane parts, and was discovered as a model by a photographer linked to Ronald Reagan.

However, the group recently received some good news, and the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission was prepared to review its decision to give the home the property landmark status on Thursday.

Three days before the final decision was given, the developer, Joe Salem of Hermitage Enterprises LLC, who purchased the home several years ago, had it bulldozed to the ground to build new condos. Jennifer Getz said:

“I can’t even breathe. My neighbors and I are in mourning. It’s one of the biggest losses in the San Fernando Valley.I’m beyond outrage.”

Ken Bernstein, director of the Office of Historic Resources, who opposed the Monroe landmark, explained:

“Obviously, Marilyn Monroe is an iconic figure. But while she had been living in the house when discovered, the house … isn’t associated with a productive period in her career.There are hundreds, if not thousands, of houses associated with celebrities.”

It is believed that Marilyn Monroe had more than 30 residences in the Los Angeles area.

What are your thoughts on the bulldozed former Marilyn Monroe’s house?


Category: Celebrity

Comments (17)

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  1. Earl says:

    I think they should have lift her house a lone. Now they are going to put a apartment there they should at Lease name the apartment after her.

  2. Elissa Foster says:

    Unfortunately, there are those that do not care about history, Marilyn or otherwise. It is a sad world we live in. It is all about money! Marilyn would have been overjoyed that a group of people cared enough to make her house a landmark. Godspeed and God bless you all. There are those that love you Marilyn and always will, myself included.

  3. I Knowthedeal says:

    If it was the house where some black rapper grew up, or where one of the martyred black criminals grew up, then it would have been made into a shrine.

    • ARodrigues says:

      That comment was a crock of crap.. they would not have made it into a shrine… Ignorant comment at best!

    • James says:

      Maybe you don’t know the deal.

    • nancy says:

      Clearly, you would not know a deal if it smacked you in the head. But it appears you have been smacked in the head and it made you a racist.

  4. L.A.West says:

    Considering how tiny the place was – I find it amazing NO ONE would pick up the cost of having it moved and relocated to a place where it could be part of a Marilyn Monroe fan attraction. Perhaps the place was in such horrid condition it couldn’t be saved. But my best guess is – some developer paid off city officials to clear the land for Million Dollar Condo’s! History and nostalgia always gets the shaft when corrupt money talks!

  5. Fabiana says:

    Your comment was ignorant at best and racist at worse.
    Do you really think that a home or apartment complex where BIG OR Tupac will become Historic-Cultural Monument just because they were black and did great stuff for hip hop – the answer is a fAT NO.

  6. eN gLEE says:

    Rumors say she married that older man to avoid going into the foster system, but she never really spoke about the portion of her life and God knows Marilyn used to over share about her sex life and such.
    Can you explain why her parents left her with that man and his family?
    Did she ask to emancipate or did something happened with her step dad?

  7. Hey Ppaa says:

    This is an old run down house, no need to keep it up, just put a plaque there. Cali officials can’t keep all 30 homes she lived in up just because she was there for a mont or two.
    Her fans should cherish her movies and insanely hot pictures instead of the dump like home she lived in as a teen.

  8. George says:

    I was reading about the house and it had a lot of charm and was structurally in great shape. Marilyn lived there with her first husband but she was alone for much of the time as her husband was in the military and away at war. As most of the men were away at war women got to fill the factory jobs and Marilyn was working in a factory. A journalist came in to do a story about it and he was awestruck by Marilyn’s beauty. Marilyn was discovered and started modeling. About that time her husband came home and he wanted her to stay home and be a housewife and raise a family but she had big ambitions so that’s why she only lived there a year.

  9. A Manfred says:

    Everything about California sucks from it’s police and building corruption to its bad air and water.(What’s left of it)Outrageous property costs and taxes. I lived there for 20 years(So.Cal.)and couldn’t wait to get out.My children(grown) still live there and I watch them being gouged financially every year.

  10. nick says:

    This women will forever be known for making a few half rate movies, being one of playboy’s tramps and having a extramarrital affair with the the president of the united states and Im sure Mr. Daughtry devorsed her due to cheating on him and people want to save a house that should have been destroyed on pure pricipal.

  11. Francine says:

    I am SHOCKED and appalled at the ignorance and vitriolic comments in response to how we felt about a talented/tormented actresses house being demolished to make way for condos!!!! Nick is a misogynist and then iknowthedeal is a hate filled racist!!!???? SAD…sad society we have become!!!!!!!

  12. rick says:

    As an 18 year old she lived there for one year, lol what’s the crying and about? Not everything the woman touched is a national monument!

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