MENLO PARK, CA-The Allied Arts Guild, a 71-year-old artists’ retreat whose former students include renowned photographer Ansel Adams and Spanish muralist Diego Rivera, will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation at the hands of its owner, The Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary.

The auxiliary could have sold the Spanish-styled, 3.5-acre property for at least $5 million, according to some city officials. Instead, the group voted overwhelmingly to save the complex–a decision bolstered by strong community willingness to help raise $5 to $8 million for restorations. In a mail-in election poll, about 95% of the Auxiliary’s 131 active members voted to save the complex. Menlo Park city council members have also offered the city’s assistance.

The property is part of a former ranch bequeathed by a Spanish king. Local couple Garfield and Delight Merner created the Allied Arts Guild in 1929 as a haven for artists wanting refuge from the outside world.

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