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