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Allied Arts Guild is a Ghost Town

Original post made by Avid Gardner on Jun 6, 2007

Last week my girlfriends and I visited the Allied Arts Guild. It was like walking through a ghost town. The only thing missing was tumbleweeds blowing through the deserted gardens and breezeways. The gardens were neglected, with untrimmed hedges, dead leaves on plants, dead blossoms on flowers, and poorly maintained paths and walkways. The few shops on the property were virtually empty, with no customers and limited displays of goods. The restaurant was closed and locked and tables and chairs were scattered about inside. Many shops were boarded up or empty, and part of the back of the property was falling into the creek. There was a look of decay that was unexpected in a property that has just undergone a multi-million dollar restoration. Those clerks we spoke with said that few daily visitors has been the norm since the restaurant closed, and many are questioning how long they can (or want to) survive in the deserted facility.

We hadn't been aware of the recent events at the Guild and one of the clerks referred us to the Almanac's web site for more information. After reading the Town Forum entries, I'm amazed! How can the auxiliary that owns the property let this happen! I realize that maintaining the grounds costs money, but if the roses, flowers and shrubs die, what is there to draw visitors to the property?

I hope that those members of the Allied Arts Auxiliary who can see that there are grave problems move quickly to fix them. The gardens won't survive with this kind of neglect, and neither will the retail tenants. If and when the facility closes, which appears inevitable according to postings on this web site, we'll all miss the wonderful gardens and delightful shops we've known and loved for years, and we'll wish that the Allied Arts Auxiliary had taken better care of the Menlo Park community's artistic legacy.

Comments (8)

Posted by It's Inevitable, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 4:31 pm

No point in fighting it, neighbors -- we need The O'Brien Group or Summerhill Homes to step up to the plate with a proposal for high density housing at the (soon-to-be-former) Allied Arts site, before it becomes the blight that the Derry property is now. I can almost hear the construction din from across El Camino in the Linfield Oaks neighborhood, and I suppose it's our turn to bow down before the inexorable march of Infill Development. Progress, clean underpants or no!


Posted by Tim Johnston, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:07 pm

As a lifelong resident of the Allied Arts neighberhood and an avid gardner I find this extremely distressing. I would GLADLY volunteer my time to assist in maintaining the grounds of this treasure!


Posted by Tim Johnston, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:26 pm

NO WAY re: high density housing on the Allied Arts site! It is not inevitable and will not happen. I will neither bow down nor bend over and let that site be developed. Inexorable march...? I think not!


Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:23 am

What is the Allied Arts Guild?? (seriously)


Posted by Andrea Gemmet, Almanac staff writer
on Jun 7, 2007 at 11:52 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

Joanna: This Almanac story gives a good overview of the Allied Arts Guild.
Web Link


Posted by It could happen to you, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 8, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Sad as it sounds to longtime residents, Allied Arts could clearly catch the last wave of the dense housing development frenzy. In many ways, it's far better suited than Linfield Oaks to infill: the site is surrounded by single family homes.

We did just about everything we could to stop the development in Linfield Oaks, and delayed it for four years. This council will not approve infill in Allied Arts, but just wait until 2008, when Boyle brings in two buddies to take the places of Kelly and Andy ("look at El Camino--they've done nothing!") and the new "progressive" council gives Summerhill the thumbs up.

It may not be inevitable, but it could easily happen. The fact that the owners/property amangers are letting it deteriorate is a major clue. Wait a few months and you'll hear people whining that operating shops and a restaurant in a residential area just doesn't pencil out anymore, and it's time to amend the general plan and rezone.


Posted by Katie Angioletti, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 8, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Well -- what are we going to do about it. If you have truly constructive advice, please send it along. Either on this site or to my email: katieangioletti@hotmail.com

Jesse Cool would have been an invigorating tenant -- I, for one, was looking forward to strolling down the street for a latte or pastry. Some neighbors still seem to worry about Allied Arts overuse and fail to realize that its underuse will lead to the property's sale.

Please let me know if you are a neighbor and are interested in getting the Allied Arts Guild back on its feet.


Posted by Katie Angioletti, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 8, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Well -- what are we going to do about it. If you have truly constructive advice, please send it along. Either on this site or to my email: katieangioletti@hotmail.com

Jesse Cool would have been an invigorating tenant -- I, for one, was looking forward to strolling down the street for a latte or pastry. Some neighbors still seem to worry about Allied Arts overuse and fail to realize that its underuse will lead to the property's sale.

Please let me know if you are a neighbor and are interested in getting the Allied Arts Guild back on its feet.


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