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What Business is Allied Arts In, Restoring Buildings or Supporting Children’s Hospital?

Original post made by Ms. Flora, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights, on Aug 2, 2007

Kudos to “Worried” for analyzing the numbers, and for “Appalled” for raising questions about the capability of Allied Arts’ leadership. Did anyone notice that in Woodside Atherton’s 2004 tax filing they had a Debt Cancellation of nearly $1.1 million? What’s that all about?

Was that related to the $2 million they borrowed from the Packard Foundation? Were they unable to pay it back? I recall Woodside Atherton making some comments about Allied Arts tenants being unable to pay their bills, statements that subsequently were proven to be untrue. Strange that they should be the ones who had to have a debt forgiven. It now appears that there could be a potential loss of as much as $9-10 million (money spent on restoration) should the property be sold and buildings torn down to make room for condos? Those millions should have gone directly to the hospital and the children, not to the restoration of old buildings.

Allied Arts is not Filoli or Gamble Gardens or the San Francisco Conservatory or Arboretum. When you give money to those groups, you know what it’s being spent for—maintenance and improvement of the property and gardens. However, Woodside Atherton is not in the historic site or garden presentation business,. They’re chartered to support Children’s Hospital. As much as we like the Allied Arts complex, let’s not forget why it’s there and who it’s supposed to benefit.

It appears that somewhere along the line, Woodside Atherton got off course and lost sight of their charter and what’s really important. Regretfully, it’s probably too late to fix their many problems. As the Almanac said, they look like they’re doomed to fail.


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