On Saturday, July 17, I had the amazing and incredible experience of viewing Marilyn Monroe’s final home, located at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood, California. The house is currently for sale. More information about the listing can be viewed at www.davidoffer.com and www.sawbuck.com.
Read about my visit to the house and view photos of the home today compared to images from when Marilyn owned the property.
The experience itself was an incredible one that I’ll never forget. I was pleased to see the tiles reading “Cursum Perficio” in Latin, or, “My Journey Ends Here” in English as I crossed the threshold and entered Marilyn Monroe’s home.
The house itself, while very similar to the time when Marilyn lived there, has undergone some significant changes. The guesthouse and main house have been joined. Several rooms have been added in the back of the house, but are not connected to the main house.
The pool area remains the same, as does the terraced lower lot in the rear of the house.
Many of the plants appear to be the same from the time when Marilyn lived there. I noticed that two palm trees currently in the back yard can be seen in photos of the property taken on August 5, 1962.
In walking through the spaces in the guest house area, I was surprised and immensely happy to see that the tiles Marilyn selected in Mexico still surround the shower in the guest bathroom.
Marilyn’s bedroom has experienced some changes, primarily in that the door to the bedroom was relocated to a different wall. The area where Marilyn’s door was formerly is now a built-in book case. The door to the room is now immediately behind the area where Marilyn’s wooden bedside table was located. The fireplace in the room remains intact.
Marilyn’s bathroom has undergone major renovations. A full tub and shower is now situated in the area that was her sink and counter. Her tub and shower were removed and the room was extended (the reason for the door to the bedroom needing to be moved). The toilet appears to be in the original location.
I was immediately struck by the original open ceilings in the living room. The vaulted ceiling consists entirely of wooden beams and planks. While the overall design of the ceiling is basic, I found myself staring up for extended periods of time, just mesmerized by the beauty and naturalness of the original wood from the time when Marilyn lived there. The room overall was much smaller than I thought it would be. While somewhat long, it’s very narrow.
The tiles Marilyn selected in Mexico still surround the fireplace.
The Dining Room
Marilyn’s dining room now serves as a den for the current owners. Built-in cabinets have been added around the dining room window. The beam above the window in the current photo of the house (shown below) is the actual beam Marilyn hung from in photos taken by Allan Grant. I was always under the impression the photos from this session were taken in the living room. But it appears as if they were taken in the dining room.
The kitchen has undergone major renovations and is not even recognizable today when compared to photos of the kitchen when Marilyn lived there. Only the location of the stove and the hood remain unchanged.
The main house and guesthouse are now connected and the kitchen was expanded. The area with Marilyn’s kitchen nook, with wooden table and built-in benches, and the counter area with the kitchen sink and dishwasher has been completely renovated.
Marilyn had the kitchen completely remodeled when she bought the house. I happen to own her personal copy of the kitchen floor plan, shown below.
The sun room is primarily unchanged structurally from when Marilyn owned the home. I noticed right away that the tiles on the floor are the same tiles from when Marilyn lived there. This can be seen in the photos from 1962 and 2010. One wall now has built-in cabinets near the location of Marilyn’s liquor cart.