The main part of the informations and pictures about this file comes from Gary Vitacco-Robles book "Cursum Perficio : Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood Hacienda" (thank you so much Gary :o)).
I also want to thank Scott (www.marilynmonroecollection.com) and Eric for their pictures.
Located near Santa Monica and the Ocean, between Sunset Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard (Brentwood's main street).
At that time, the entrance of the Helena Drives didn't include any numbers.
Located in a dead-end with a drive and a house on each side :
Map of the house :
Aerial pictures :
On the paving of the entrance of the property () was a particular flagstone, inscribed Cursum Perficio (My journey ends here), with Mexican ceramics. This inscription had been installed by the previous owners, in 1932 :,,,,,
Behind a high white wall, sheltered from the outside (" A fortress where I feel secure"), the one-story house, in L shape had a Spanish style (it looked like Dr Greenson's one) and a surface of 213m².On the 700m² of the property were also a garage, a small guest house, a garden with luxuriant bougainvilleas and an oval pool.
The gate :
The whole property :
The house :
The garden :
The pool :
It needed a renovation but it had also lots of charm : red tiles roof, thick stucco walls, double windows, cathedral vault ceiling in the salon, and beams in the whole house.
It had been built in 1929 by a movie studio accountant.The walls were covered with adobe, and the ceilings were vaulted like in an hacienda.
The solarium was small but warm, with no curtains on the windows, through which the pool could be seen. Marilyn put some furniture and 2 bookcases with 5 shelves, bearing many books. An Aztec tapestry
Left, 3 bedrooms, one with an adjoining bathroom overlooking the garden, 2 others, smaller, shared a second bathroom.
Few days before her death, Marilyn had bought another night stand, which was delivered on August 4, but not installed. The one seen on the pictures so is the old night stand.Near the bed there was a terra cotta pitcher, inscribed "Un recuerdo de Toluca", a souvenir of her trip in Mexico. A record-player was plugged in beside her bed.
Pictures of the window overlooking the driveway of the property :
Curent picture of the window broken by Dr Greenson :
Pictures of August 5, 1962 :
Current pictures :
The bathroom of the main bedroom was decorated with yellow and blue tiles, on the walls, above the sink and around the bathtub :--,,--,-,,;;;,,,,,.
,,,). Marilyn had bought a huge wardrobe to tidy her clothes and there was a three-parts mirror, custom-made, which came from Doheny Drive.
Her wardrobe, colorful (clothes from Pucci) contrasted with her New York wardrobe (black, white and beige colors).
There were few closets (only 2 for 3 bedrooms) and none of them could be locked.
The kitchen (,) had a brick floor, Mexican blue and yellow tiles on the walls, and was fitted with a rectangular fridge, modern chromium "Hotpoint", repainted in blue on the visible front to matched with the tiles
The interior design had a Mexican style :
She had purchased the furniture during her trip in Mexico in February 1962. Some of the furniture, authentic pieces, hadn't been yet delivered when she died.She bought at The Mart (Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood) a tapestry representing Adam, Eve and the
The dominant color was white : walls, wool carpets in bedrooms and salon.
The guest house was divided in 2 , a bedroom and a small salon. There was no heating and couldn't be
The garage contained furniture and items she hadn't enough time to install in the house.
She planted a tree in the patio and hired some Mexicans workers to build a low wall around the tree.
Her gardener, Mr Tateishi planted some white azaleas on the bottom of the tree. She subscribed to Horticulture magazine, of which an issue would be found next to her bed.
She bought a sofa, designed by Norman Norell which arrived from New York a few days before her death.
It remained packed in the guest house. Later, it would be recovered with a gold velvet and bought by a collector from Los Angeles :
She ordered some armchairs in leather and wood; waiting for the delivery, she used an Italian sofa with assorted armchairs and green velvet cushions, which came from Doheny Drive.
Cf. Marilyn stuff.
Eunice Murray found her the house, at the end of January 1962.
Marilyn visited it and remembered each and every detail; she much loved the house which had been occupied by several generations.
The kitchen and the 2 bathrooms needed renovation works and a new plumbing.Marilyn was immediately inspired to decorate it with Mexican tiles, with bright colors. She wanted to restore this house in its original style with a colonial Spanish atmosphere.
Marilyn bought the property for 77 500$ (some says 90 000$) from William and Doris Pagen.
She paid the sum of 42 5000$ (from the 100 000$ she earned for "Some Like It Hot") and signed a credit of 6.5% for 15 years at the City National Bank of Beverly Hills.
She began the monthly repayment of 320$ a month since March 1, 1962.
If Marilyn had kept on paying this house, she would have ended the repayment on February 1, 1977.
Her lawyer Milton Rudin drew the bill of sale up ().
She moved in a kind of panic the week-end of March 8 and 9, 1962, with DiMaggio's help. Back from Mexico, she had discovered that a newspaper had published her adress of Doheny Drive.She was proud to be the owner of her house (for the first time, independent) and proud of the changes she started. She made it visited with great pleasure. She liked its secluded aspect, was delighted to buy some furniture, didn't want that everybody could see where she lived.
While her trip in Mexico in February 1962, it was Eunice Murray's son-in-law, Norman Jefferies and his brother Keith who had started the work (cleaned and polished the woodwork, washed the walls and took the kitchen furniture away).
Plumber Roy Newell installed a temporary kitchen in the guest house with a sink, a fridge and an oven.Cabinetmaker Ray Tolman made a table and some benches for the breakfast nook, in dark walnut tree wood.
Once she had moved in, Edward P.Hulavaty of the A1 Lock and Safe Company changed the exterior door locks; he came back several weeks later to change the locks of some of Marilyn's furniture :
She planned to make build an apartment above the garage and for this, contacted an architect. Assorted to the house, it would have a balcony, exterior stairs and beams on the ceiling. She wanted to install there her cook from New York, Hattie Stevenson.
Future of the house
Since her death, the house has had several owners; the first bid was made by Mr and Mrs Gilbert and Betty
In September 1963, they could make the pruchase a reality for an amount 5 times upper the usual prices in the neighborhood. They bought the house with a big part of the furniture. They removed the partial dividing wall in the guest house. Mr Nunez would die in the house.
In May 1997, the children of Mrs Nunez auctionned many furniture and items of Marilyn , including the hat she used to wear for gardening, sold between 4 000$ and 6 000$, her dressing-room mirror between 15 000$ and 20 000$.
The next owners would make many works. The space between the guest house and the main house would
The guest house would be renovated and rented. The dining-room and the kitchen would become one single
The Mexican ceramic tiles chosen by Marilyn would be sold 800$ a piece. One of the owners would use them to recover the mosaic of Marilyn's table top. A tiled floor would replaced the white wooden carpets in the salon.
The gate of the property Marilyn had bought at
Ralse Period Furniture would be relpaced by an electrical gate, notably
to make the entrance unrecognizable to the many tourists present during
the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.
In 1998, the real estate agency Jon Douglas Properties would sell it, renovated and reequipped, for the amount
The owners, Mr and Mrs Henry and Cynthia Rust have completely renovated it. There are no more of the Mexican tiles, so dear to Marilyn, and the exterior walls had been destoyed and rebuilt. They have separated the main house with the garage by tall shrubs.
In 2010, it was put on the market for 3,6 millions $.
History of Brentwood
The pure air which circulated in Brentwood came from the Coast and preserved the charm of this town from the Los Angeles pollution. It was an ideal place to live for Marilyn when she would stay in Los Angeles.Brentwood wasn't really a town but a part of West Los Angeles, on the foothills of the mounts of Santa Monica.
Brentwood was bordered north by the Mount St Mary High School, south by the Brentwood Country Club, East by the UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) and west by the Topanga State Park.
This small town had much grew between the 19th and the 20th Century, with implantation of a new route for cars.Began in 1906, the Westgate Streetcar Line linked the National Home for Disabled Soldiers, east, (now The Veterans Administration) to the Pacific Ocean, in Santa Monica.