“One of the most traditional boroughs in Menlo Park, Allied Arts offers a blend of residential options and an easy stroll to its main retail areas along Santa Cruz Avenue and El Camino Real.”
The Allied Arts neighborhood of Menlo Park (MLS #304) encompasses two boroughs, Downtown and Allied Arts proper. The most pedestrian-friendly borough, it is also one of the town’s most traditional, pre-dating the majority of other districts by 40 years.
Downtown offers a plethora of residential options, with a lavish array of multi-family dwellings in the form of apartments, condominiums and town homes. Post-World War II, city officials encouraged population growth in this area by constructing mid-rise apartment complexes and even today, multi-family units are plentiful. Single-family homes in downtown are found on a few charming, tree-lined streets and include an assortment of pre-war architectural styles including Tudors, Mediterranean, Craftsman and the ever-present California ranch. A reflection of post-war growth, downtown is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Menlo Park.
The Allied Arts area resembles Palo Alto’s mature neighborhoods, with its quaint, sidewalk-free streets. This higher-end borough includes many traditionally characteristic dwellings that tend toward smaller square footage than homes in the town’s younger districts.
As a whole Allied Arts offer homeowners a diversity of housing options, styles and price points, combined with a leisurely stroll to restaurants, shops and entertainment.
Neighborhood Price Point
- Most pedestrian-friendly, traditional neighborhood
- Offers a myriad of multi and single-family housing options and a variety of architectural styles
- One of most affordable boroughs
- Quaint, quiet streets
- Convenient access to charming downtown
History of Allied Arts / Downtown, Menlo Park
Prior to 1929, the borough now called Allied Arts was part of downtown Menlo Park. The moniker “Allied Arts” came into use after a prosperous husband and wife, Garfield and Delight Merner, bought a 3.5 acre plot on San Francisquito Creek from John Jarvis “Jeff” Murray, son of Menlo Park forerunner and Stanford Dairy originator, John Murray. The art-loving couple, owners of Merner Lumber Company in Palo Alto, wished to create an arts guild to ‘provide a serene, beautiful workplace for artists”. To fulfill this dream, they worked with architect Gardner Daily to build a Spanish Colonial main house as well as iron and wood shops on their property.
From its initiation, the Allied Arts Guild celebrated California folk and peasant art, its mission to ensure everything created within its walls met the highest standards of craftsmanship and design. Today, the Allied Arts Guild Auxiliary upholds the Merner’s original mission, continuing to provide space for artists to create and market their exemplary work.
Menlo Park’s modern day downtown used to be primarily single-family dwellings. With the establishment of its retail district along Santa Cruz Avenue came the insertion of adjoining low-rise multi-family housing. By the 1960s, the downtown renovation had transpired, its evolution continuing today with recent condominium developments offering more modern urban living options for Menlo Park residents.