Visitors say goodbye to Sunset Magazine's campus in Menlo Park

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Friday was the last day the public could stop by for a tour the campus of Sunset Magazine in Menlo Park.
The company is moving to new digs in Oakland and Sonoma. Lots of people stopped to say goodbye.

Hand-in-hand in Menlo Park, generations have stopped by this seven-acre campus for years.

Sunset Magazine garden editor Kathleen Brenzel said, "They come from all over. I even had a gardener here from Texas the other day, who said, 'I had to come and just look at it one more time.' And that's very special, it's meaningful."

Designed by Cliff May, the pioneer of the California ranch-style home design, house grounds have been home to Sunset Magazine since 1951 and for visitor Chet Chaffee and the love of his life he says, "It's like losing an old friend, so we came to say goodbye."

There sure is a lot of history here. Chaffee told us, "I met my wife just across the way over at SRI, and so we used to come over here to have lunch, and to park, and to look at the flowers, and it's a really fond memory for me."

Chaffee's wife, Paula, agrees saying, "It's such a quintessential part of this area, and to think of it closing and not being able to enjoy a beautiful stroll around the grounds, it's really sad."

But as the page turns, Sunset is looking forward to exciting times ahead. Staff members will move to Oakland's Jack London Square later this year and the famed test kitchen and garden will open in Sonoma in May of 2016.

"We're multiplying the space of our test garden by something like 15. I mean, it's going to be huge. It's going to be much more accessible, open on the weekends, people can come visit us whenever they want," Sunset Magazine Senior garden editor Johanna Silver said.

Not much has been said about what the new owners plan to do with the property, and from the succulents, to the flowers, and everything else in between, they'll get the building and all of the plants as part of the sale.

Still, many are holding out hope that these doors won't close for good.
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