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Jobs battles preservationists to raze historic home

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Sun April 26, 2009

Jobs vs preservationists

Steve Jobs is set to make yet another attempt to demolish his historic house in Woodside, California, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Previous attempts to destroy the "Jackling House" met with resistance from a preservationist group, Uphold Our Heritage, that argued the 85-year-old property should be restored or sold to a buyer willing to renovate. The home sits on six acres of wooded land, with 30 rooms, 14 bedrooms and 13.5 bathrooms. The original architect, George Washington Smith, utilized the Spanish Colonial Revival Style.

Jobs successfully applied for a demolition permit in 2001, as the Woodside Town Council agreed that restoration was impractical. Uphold Our Heritage sued the Apple executive and the council, claiming the decision was not based on solid facts regarding the cost of repair work. An appeals could agreed with the preservationists, effectively blocking demolition.

"If you had the opportunity to correct the record, and you really wanted to demolish the house, as I assume Mr. Jobs does, you'd want to try it again," said Susan George, Town Manager.

The town council will review the permit application again Tuesday evening. Jobs has included a detailed cost estimate this time, comparing approximately $8.2 million spent for a new home against $13.3 million in restoration costs.

"If you had a third party, for instance, who was willing to share some of the cost, it seems to me insufficient to say, 'Well, it will cost $13 million,' " argued Doug Carstens, an attorney representing the preservationists. The group claims Jobs and his lawyer, Howard Ellman, exaggerated their efforts to find a buyer. [via AppleInsider]

[Images courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News]

[Images courtesy of Thalia Lubin and the SF Gate]

by MacNN Staff





  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is this house

    on the National Registry of Historic Homes? If not let the owner (in this case Jobs) do what he wants with HIS house and property.

  1. howiethemacguy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's his house

    s**** the preservationists! It's Steve's property, and his house. These people and the town have absolutely no right whatsoever to prevent him from tearing it down and building something else. What happened to private property rights?

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    F8ck them.

    They can't force him to restore it. He should be allowed to tear it down unless someone else wants to buy it for what Steve paid plus interest.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    someone preserved the preservationists. If they can find a buyer, fine. If not, let him tear down the home he owns. It's OK (lookswise) but obviously not what Mr. Jobs prefers... why do these people insist on saving mediocrity? Why do they insist on saving anything? You can't even get on the grounds to see it.
    These people are nothing but busybodies with no life.

  1. chas_m



    Two sides

    I think both sides have valid points here. I'm not so libertarian as the posters above, apparently, but the house does look to be worth saving in my view.

    Is there no possibility of simply MOVING the house to another property? If not, then the preservation society needs to either buy it, get it declared unique, or let Steve carry out his plan. Jobs doesn't have an absolute right to demolish, but neither do the preservationists have an absolute right to block.

  1. mrjanus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not worth saving

    It's only 85 years old and not particularly a masterpiece. Even in America 85 years can't be very old for a house. It just looks like a run of the mill Spanish villa, albeit a large run of the mill Spanish villa.

    Preservation for the sake of it is pointless. Only save the really good architecture. Who's to say that what gets built in its stead wont itself be a masterpiece that will require so called preservation.

  1. Durandalus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Steve's home alone and getting bored ;-)

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Private property

    Just because you own a house doesn't give you the right to do what you want with it - we live in a society and society has some say on something like this.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    this is crazy

    Look, I'm no libertarian either but this is nuts. Did you read the 2nd paragraph? Steve's been trying to demolish this thing for at least 8 years! Holy c***, I'd be pissed if I were him.

    If they couldn't find a buyer in all that time with the real estate bubble in full force and easy money all around, how are they going to find a buyer now in this recession, particularly in California where it's really bad???

    If the preservationists think it is so historically valuable, they should come up with a buyer ASAP. Give them 3 months. Otherwise, let Steve do what he wants with it.

  1. Outdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here is more Info

    Suggest everyone go to this site. MacNN information not complete. Much more to this.

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