Here's What Happened To The House Marilyn Monroe Died In

Sitting in Brentwood, Los Angeles, 12305 5th Helena Drive is no ordinary address. The property at this postal code belonged to none other than the iconic Marilyn Monroe, whose legacy still continues to thrive over 60 years after her untimely passing at the above address. Approximately half a century later, Monroe's former home sold on August 18, 2023 for $8,350,000, and was set to be destroyed by its new owners. However, the four-bed, two-bath property narrowly escaped demolition with the help of the Los Angeles City Council.

Without the intervention of the city council, the place where Monroe spent the last few months of her life would have been gone forever, as would a slice of Californian history. The actor first purchased the property on Helena Drive in early 1962 for $75,000 after her split from Arthur Miller. It was the first property she owned by herself (without a spouse or partner), and she reputedly paid for half of the home with cash and mortgaged the other half.

She didn't get to spend much time in her forever home

5th Helena Drive was designed to look like a Spanish-style hacienda. In the book, "​Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood Hacienda," Monroe called the house a "fortress where I can feel safe from the world." "Cursum Perficio" — a Latin phrase that translates to "My journey ends here" — is how Monroe referred to her home, even having the phrase carved into the front porch tiles. Tragically, these words became true — Monroe's happiness in her home was not to last. She was found dead at the property just a few months later in August 1962 at age 36. 

After Monroe's death, the fate of the property took a few turns. It was owned by actor Veronica Hamel, who intriguingly discovered surveillance and bugging equipment in areas of the roof and the walls of the property. Though nothing has been confirmed, the equipment could very much have been installed during the time period when Monroe was associated with the Kennedy family, namely John F. Kennedy. Director Michael Richie also purchased the house in 1994, though it is unknown when he sold it.

The iconic property was almost destroyed

Fast forward all the way to 2023, and the property was snapped up by Glory of the Snow LLC, which then sold it to the Trust of the same name. The latter then shockingly applied for a demolition permit to destroy Marilyn Monroe's former home. Thankfully, as mentioned, the Los Angeles City Council managed to temporarily halt the plans in 2023. In a press conference, council representative Stacey Segarra-Bohlinger stated, "Preserving our history is a dignity that we as Angelenos have. 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 council additionally voted in favor of putting the home forth for consideration to become a historical and cultural monument. 

Intriguingly, the situation does not seem to be as simple as it first appears. Although nothing was confirmed, there were rumors that the couple who owned the property next door to Monroe's had plans to build one large property on the planned vacant lot. These rumors sparked when Esotouric's overhead film footage showed that the wall dividing the properties had been taken down. Monroe's home is safe for now, but what might happen to it in the future is another issue entirely.