SOURCE: McGuire Real Estate

April 30, 2007 12:00 ET

Marin Agricultural Land Trust to Receive Largest Bequest From Robert Held Estate

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 30, 2007 -- Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) announced today that it is the recipient of the largest bequest since it was founded in 1980 to preserve farmland in Marin County, California. The estate of the late Robert (Bob) Held is estimated at $4 million and features a classic French Normandy "chateau style" home known as "Robin Hill" in Mill Valley. Built in the 1920s, the 3-bedroom home sits on approximately one-third of an acre and offers dramatic views of San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais and extensive gardens.

"This gift comes at a critical time," says Robert Berner, Executive Director of MALT. "In the next year alone, we hope to acquire agricultural conservation easements on some 5,000 acres of farmland at a cost of about $13 million. Proceeds from the sale of Bob Held's home will be used to protect farmland in West Marin. His legacy will benefit everyone who counts on MALT to help preserve Marin's rural open space and family farms for future generations."

When the late Bob Held attended MALT events, he always made an entrance. Usually alone and always well dressed, he was known to burst into song in the middle of a conversation. Born and raised in Chicago, Held began his adult life in New York as a stage actor. He moved to San Francisco in the 1960s and to Mill Valley in 1972. According to his friend and neighbor, John Polhemus, he "surrounded himself with things he loved." Those included antique furniture, jewelry, a collection of Asian and American art and his garden.

"He cherished the garden," explains Wendy Barbaria, another friend and the executor of his estate. "He spent from morning until night there, enjoying the views of San Francisco and Mount Tamalpais."

The home is listed with Jean O'Korn (415-389-5644) at McGuire Real Estate in Mill Valley and is priced at $2,895,000. For more information, visit

About Marin Agricultural Land Trust

MALT was the first land trust in the United States to focus on farmland preservation, and was formed by a coalition of ranchers and environmentalists. MALT acquires agricultural conservation easements on farmland in voluntary transactions with landowners. It also encourages public policies that support and enhance agriculture. For more information, visit

About McGuire Real Estate

Since 1919, McGuire Real Estate ( has been an integral part of the real estate scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. A mid-sized, regional boutique, McGuire specializes in luxury real estate but applies the highest standards of service to properties in every price range, and to every client. This "customer first" philosophy and local focus have proved a winning formula for this Bay Area real estate leader.

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