Monroe Preservation Group Uncovers the History of “Cursum Perficio”

As reported on previously, through countless hours of research, the Monroe Preservation Group, (April VeVea, Elisa Jordan, Silver Technicolor, Gary Oscar, Remi Gangarossa, and myself) uncovered previously unknown information about famed historic architect, Harbin Hunter. We contend that Hunter, his parents (who owned the home from 1929 until 1949) and his brother Asa, lived in the house. Hunter and co-architect John DeLario planned the Hollywood (Hollywoodland) neighborhood. Their most famous building is the Kanst Art Gallery, which is still standing. Hunter also designed the Hollywood Hills house Madonna previously owned.
Further research and sleuthing by Remi revealed that Hunter also designed and built the house. The style exactly matches the architectural and aesthetic style of other known Hunter designs.

And then there’s the tiles…

Most fans know about the tiles at the front door of the house. Four tiles laid in cement show a crest with three running dogs and three Viking war horns with the words “Cursum Perficio.” The source of the tiles was previously unknown. They are, in fact, the Hunter family crest and motto. Rather than the macabre “My journey ends here,” translation, the Hunter family “Cursum Perficio” motto means, “I will persevere.”

LA’s Cultural Heritage Commission meets tomorrow (1/18) and might approve a Historic Cultural Monument designation, which would then go to the Planning & Land Use Committee, then LA City Council.

Many fans believe the house should be a museum, much like Graceland. Unfortunately, in its current location, that can never happen. However, I have been in contact with the current owners of the home, and they have offered to relocate it to a site where it can be visited by Marilyn’s fans. The owners have also invited me to be involved as an advisor as part of relocating the home.

I will post as to the outcome of the CHC meeting tomorrow. Marilyn showed a lot of perseverance during her 36 years. We feel our journey doesn’t end here either. Instead, we will persevere, like Marilyn and the Hunters, in attempts to save 12305 Fifth Helena in a way that’s acceptable for all parties.