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Jobs' childhood home under consideration for 'historic' status

updated 03:29 pm EDT, Mon September 23, 2013

Garage famous as birthplace for Apple I

The Los Altos Historical Commission will soon determine whether or not the childhood home of Steve Jobs is a historical site, reports say. Today the Commission is conducting a "historic property evaluation" of the building, located at 2066 Crist Drive. Should the group give the go-ahead, the city will have to preserve the structure for future generations.

The home is a single-story, mostly nondescript ranch-style house originally built in 1952. Jobs moved there with his foster family when he was in seventh grade, and lived there throughout high school. Its historical significance stems mostly from the garage, where Jobs and Steve Wozniak collaborated on the very first Apple product, the Apple I. Fifty Apple Is were built and sold to Paul Terrell's Byte Shop in Mountain View for $500 each. At the moment, the house is estimated to be worth about $1.5 million.

Apple Computer was formally established nine months after the Apple I sale, from which point onwards the company would be headquartered in Cupertino. Jobs would later become CEO, but lose the position for many years until he was hired back on in the late 1990s. He died as a result of a pancreatic tumor on October 5, 2011.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Inkling

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 07-25-06

    If this is like most historic preservation laws, it doesn't mean that "the city will have to preserve the structure for future generations." It means the city will force the current owners to do that. That means no major remodeling and certainly no demolishing. That status may make the building worth more, or it may make it worth less. The law doesn't care.

    Given that the current $1.5 million net worth of the house is about one hundred thousandth of Apple's ample cash reserves it seems appropriate for Apple to take over this responsibility rather than leave whoever lives there stuck with the expenses. After all, this is their history.

    Steve Jobs ran into a similar problem with a home on property on which he wanted to build. He wanted to tear it down. Others wanted it to be declared historic and preserved. In the end, he won.

    A better solution would be to move the garage and perhaps Jobs' bedroom to the new spaceship building and restore it to look like it did in Apple's early years. Preserving a home that looks like thousands of others makes no sense and, located in a residential neighborhood, it can't become a tourist mecca. Located at Apple's headquarters, it could become a museum piece.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    It's already an (Apple) tourist mecca, but yeah I would think the Smithsonian et al would buy the house, take the bedroom and garage and preserve it in a museum. Apple won't do it, though -- Apple is about looking forward, not looking back. Steve would have hated the thought of them doing such a thing.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    I would think that if you designate the building as historical, taking pieces off of it to put in museums or company confines would not be allowed. It also seems like an intrusion for the city to tell the current owners what they can or can't do to the building, after they bought it.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    @Inkling

    Perfectly said .... kudos !!

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