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Brentwood Couple Sues City of Los Angeles Over Marilyn Monroe Home Demolition

Legal Battle Begins as Owners Seek to Raze Iconic Residence

The owners of a Brentwood property, once inhabited by Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles on Monday, seeking permission to demolish the residence, as reported by The Los Angeles Times.

Court documents have revealed that the owners, Brinah Milstein, an heiress, and her husband Roy Bank purchased the Spanish Colonial-style home last summer for $8.35 million. They immediately announced plans to demolish the property to expand their current estate. 

Photo Credit: MLS

The lawsuit alleges city officials engaged in unconstitutional behavior by attempting to designate the home as a historic landmark, accusing them of clandestine efforts to preserve a property they argue lacks the qualifications for such status.

Monroe briefly resided in the house in 1962 before her death at the age of 36. Milstein and Bank assert that the home has undergone substantial remodeling since Monroe’s time as evidenced by the twelve permits the city has granted the home’s previous owners. They contend there is no physical evidence linking Monroe to the property.

Another part of their argument is that tourists who seek to photograph the house even though it is behind a wall bring unwanted traffic into the neighborhood. 

This dispute started in September of last year when the city granted Milstein and Bank a demolition permit. Councilmember Traci Park spearheaded the movement to save the home and grant it historical status after an outcry after the plan to raze the house was revealed to the public. Park held a press conference where she stated her office had received hundreds of calls asking her to save the house. 

Park then introduced a motion to the Los Angeles City Council to declare the home a historic monument and reverse the approval for demolition granted by the city originally. The vote on the motion has yet to occur and is scheduled for this summer. 

During a Cultural Heritage Commission meeting in January, Brinah Milstein suggested that the home could be moved to another area of the city. It is not known whether or not the owners are still willing to consider that option and how that would be achieved.

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