Preservationists battle Apple CEO Steve Jobs over his ‘dump’ of a house

“A battle has erupted between Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs and a group of local preservationists over the future of a 78-year old mansion on Jobs’ property. Jobs wants to move the 12,000-square foot house off his land and build a newer, smaller one. But local preservationists want him to restore the house, which is projected to cost about $10 million,” The Associated Press reports.

“Meanwhile, Dr. Timothy Chuter, a vascular surgeon at University of California, San Francisco wants to move the house to his eight-acre property nearby. He and at least 30 other people have expressed interest in the house, many prompted by an article in This Old House magazine,” AP reports. “Woodside’s planning commission granted Jobs a demolition permit in June, but the town council will hear an appeal next month lodged by three preservationists who hope the council will overturn the decision.”

“The house was built in 1926 for copper baron Daniel C. Jackling. It was designed by George Washington Smith, whose Pettigrew House in Palo Alto is on the National Register of Historic Places,” AP reports. “Jobs bought the house in 1984 for $2 million and lived in it as a bachelor for 10 years before marrying and moving to Palo Alto with his family. Jobs has publicly called the house ‘a dump’ and has criticized its construction and materials. The town is developing a historic preservation ordinance, but that could take at least a year.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let Jobs move the house. thereby preserving it, and then he can build something with good construction and materials. That would seem to be a simple, logical solution? Welcome to California! When it all gets worked out, we bet Jonathan Ive could design one heck of a house.


  1. Refreshing (or bad depends on your outlook) that no matter how much money Jobs has he still has problems with his local council like the rest of us. In Aussie here its the same with all-powerful councils.

    Yeah except if your a member of the council or parliment. Council can be real pricks.

  2. California

    Home of vicious gangs, drug barons, and porno pushers who distort history and culture.

    … and then, there’s the rest of the troubles outside of the the movie studio crowd….

  3. Sounds to me like an overgrown “Homeowners Association”. Steve Jobs owns the property, so it seems fair that Steve Jobs has the final say-so over what he does with it. It’s not like he is going to put a bunch of trashed-out beaters in the South fourty!

    Sara, Thanks for the link to that photo of Steve’s house. From my perspective, I can see why he wants to get rid of it. I also find myself wondering just how anyone will be able to move that pile of stucco. The movers will most likely have to cut the structure into several modules that will fit onto the trailers they use. It won’t be possible to move it in a single piece.

    Chainsaws anyone???

  4. >>Heh, looks like Steve is now seeing the dark side of the libbie politicians and radical leftist SF area groups that he usually so heavily supports. Serves him right…<<

    Yeah… but it only serves him right if he wakes up and realizes who he supports.

    >>Ooooh, stick a label on people!<<

    HMM… Sounds like you are from the blinded “Can’t Label Me” Kerry camp. Sad truth is, you *can* label people.

    >>Steve Jobs owns the property, so it seems fair that Steve Jobs has the final say-so over what he does with it.<<

    Yeah, I agree. And the house is a dump from the picture. $10 million isn’t cheap! Especially to renovate a home you don’t like. Screw what the preservationists say… it isn’t like he’s going to build something ugly in place of it. Destroying an old dump of a house isn’t destroying history… it’s progress!

  5. The owner of PRIVATE PROPERTY should be FREE TO CHOOSE what he/she wants to do as long as it does not endanger the health, safety or interests of others. This is still America, isn’t it?
    I’m all for the preservation of our ‘cultural heritage”, but not at this price. If the significance of the property is the architecture it will be just as significant nearby on another lot. Anyone without the desire/means/willingness to buy the house and move it should shut up and move on.

  6. MCCR: Talk about putting labels on people? Sheesh! I’m an American (a label that covers a *huge* variety of people), but how do you know where and how I come up with my ideas???

  7. Let him build the new house. In 78 years preservationists will want to save that one. Only this time, it will be worth saving.
    I won’t be around in 78 years so I’ll say it now, “told you so!” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  8. It always amazes me what is called historic in the US of A. So the house was constructed by a guy who built another house that’s on somebody’s list.
    Colonial revival, my ass. It’s a tasteless job (no pun here) of a fake Rancho. Next thing, they’ll put the plastic castles in Disneyland on the list of historic sites.

  9. Has nothing to do with Liberal or Leftish, Steve just wants a modern efficient stylish new house.
    Here in Europe 78 yrs is not that old ! If he gives it to the one that want to “preserve it” why not ?

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