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The Sutro Offer

It is not often that the city is offered something for nothing. Approximating uniqueness therefore is the offer made by Mrs. Merritt, daughter of Adolph Sutro. Mrs. Merritt has offered Sutro Heights to the city. If the offer hadnít a string tied to it it would be gladly accepted and Mrs. Merritt would be given a resolution of thanks in fine writing. But as it is, one is not able to predict what will be done about it. What ought to be done no intelligent person has any doubt. It would be to the cityís shame forever to fail to avail itself of the privilege of acquiring not only Sutro Heights but all the property included in the proposal. This proposal is a matter of so great importance that it should receive the enthusiastic support of all public spirited citizens. In the circumstances it is astonishing that our daily newspapers have not taken the matter up and made clear to their readers just what the proposal means. We all know about Sutro Heights, but we do not all know of the extent of the property contiguous to the Cliff House, of the beautiful cliff and beach that lies back of the baths and of the public uses to which the property might be put. All this cliff and beach property and the baths the Sutro heirs offer to the city at its present market value. It would be the easiest thing in the world to organize an amusement company to take this property off their hands at a much higher price than they offer it for. Now for this proposal we are indebted to Mrs. Merritt, who is really a philanthropic woman and who wishes to do something for the city. A somewhat odd person is Mrs. Merritt. In business matters she is so strictly business as to give people the impression that she is close-fisted. The fact is she has very little use for money. She was the one Sutro heir who refused to join in the suit to break the Sutro trust. And the trust having been broken she refuses to profit by the suit. Her one ambition was to become sole owner of the beautiful Heights property. And to gain her end she surrendered her interests in several other pieces of property, retaining nothing but the Heights and a sixth interest in the property that has been offered to the city for a little over $600,000. She is the sole owner of the Heights property which is valued at over $300,000, and of which she wishes to make a gift to the city.

Town Talk The Pacific Weekly
August 31, 1921