updated 09:35 am EST, Tue February 8, 2011
CEO said to be distanced from process
Demolition of Jackling House -- the historic Woodside, California mansion owned by Apple CEO Steve Jobs -- could start sometime next month, a report says. "We have been working with Mr. Jobs' representatives for the last few months, and we are very close to the point where the permit will be physically issued at the end of this week or the beginning of next week," notes Woodside's town manager, Susan George. Jobs won a nine-year battle to demolish the mansion in August after a preservationist group, Uphold Our Heritage, gave up on the fight to save it. The house was designed for copper baron Daniel Jackling by noted architect George Washington Smith, in the Spanish colonial revival style.
Jobs bought the mansion in 1983 during the first phase of Apple popularity, and lived in it for about 10 years. It has been mostly vacant since, suffering slow decay. In 2005 Jobs told the Woodside Town Council that he had actually bought the house with the intention of leveling it, as he considered it "poorly built." The CEO has long expressed an interest in replacing Jackling House with a smaller, more modern home.
Notably, George reveals that Jobs "has not been intimately involved in the front line" of the project. "I know he keeps in very close contact with his representative on this," she comments. The executive is currently on an indefinite medical leave, which could have ramifications for both his future level of involvement and use of the cleared real estate.
In present plans, a new home would sit at the end of a private drive. Jobs' attitude towards Jackling House has been severely criticized, for instance described as "demolition by neglect" by preservationists. George mentions that some artifacts and decorative elements will be saved from the house and sent to museums, or else sent to other homes designed by Smith that might need them.
[Photo courtesy of Jonathan Haeber]