Historic Hollywood nightclub transform into a fire station

The City Council has decided to transform a historic Hollywood nightclub where an unknown Marilyn Monroe held her first wedding reception into a fire station.

City engineers originally recommended demolition of Florentine Gardens on Hollywood Boulevard to make room for the new station, but activists protested. The plan has been redrawn to keep the building's historic facade while gutting the inside to make way for the firefighters.

During the club's heyday in the 1940s, Florentine Gardens featured singers, chorus girls and even trapeze artists. Bette Grable, Lana Turner, Tyrone Power and band leader Harry James were among its celebrity patrons. Songstress and comedian Sophie Tucker often performed there as well, said Margaret Burk, a former publicist for a rival club, the Cocoanut Grove.

Monroe, then Norma Jeane Mortensen, held her reception there after she married James Dougherty in 1942.

The council's vote on yesterday clears the way for officials to begin negotiations to buy and remodel the building, reported AP.

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