Demolished: Marilyn Monroe's Valley Village Residence - NBC Southern California

Demolished: Marilyn Monroe's Valley Village Residence

The 1940 Dougherty House was up for Historic-Cultural Monument consideration.



    Demolished: Marilyn Monroe's Valley Village Residence
    Jennifer Getz
    A look at the 1940 Dougherty House, which was demolished earlier this week, once served as the home for a pre-film career Marilyn Monroe. The young woman, then Norma Jean Dougherty, lived on the property in 1944.

    Many people, when it comes to the most famous legends of the silver screen, can sort of feel like the lasting legacies are set in stone.

    Or cement, in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre, or on a glittery star, along Hollywood's Walk of Fame. There's something immutable and unmovable about our long-gone movie stars, until things get moved.

    Moved, or taken down to the ground. A San Fernando Valley residence that Marilyn Monroe called home in 1944, back when she was Norma Jean Dougherty, is no longer as of earlier this week, when a developer brought in a crew to demolish the 1940 house.

    The house, which was located at 5258 N. Hermitage Avenue, possessed a special significance for fans. A release reveals that Ms. Monroe "was living in the rear house at the time she was discovered by photographer David Conover, who encouraged her to follow a career in modeling, which soon led to her work in the movie industry." 

    The gabled abode had been submitted to the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission for possible Historic-Cultural Monument status in the middle of April by Charles J. Fisher, a local protector of historic structures. Mr. Fisher, Valley Village-based preservation advocate Jennifer Getz, and several other fans of the actress and neighbors wanted to see protections placed on the two single family residences sitting on the lot.

    "We are slowly erasing our history in this city," opined Ms. Getz. She continued "...and the San Fernando Valley as a whole." Ms. Getz says supporters of the Monroe house did not hear back on the issue from Councilmember Paul Krekorian's office.

    Just days ahead of when the city was to have met on the proposal, the demolition crew moved in.

    Monroe mavens know that just prior to Ms. Monroe trying out a modeling career she had a very different role: "(S)praying airplane parts with fire retardant and inspecting parachutes" at the Radio Plane Munitions Factory. Young Norma Jean's husband Jim was a Merchant Marine in World War II, and she lived in the Valley with her mother-in-law, Ethel.

    Look here for the full list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments.

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