Judge stops Apple, Pixar CEO Steve Jobs from demolishing historical house

“Steve Jobs’ quest to demolish a Woodside mansion has hit another snag, cheering preservationists who consider the home built for a copper magnate a historical treasure,” Kim Vo reports for The San Jose Mercury News. “San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner has tentatively ruled that the town improperly granted Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computer and Pixar, a demolition permit last year. Jobs’ attorney, Howard Ellman, said he is likely to appeal the decision.”

“Jobs, who bought the 17,000-square foot home in 1984 but hasn’t lived there in more than a decade, has said he wants to build a new, smaller home on the property that would be more suitable for his family. They currently live in Palo Alto,” Vo reports. “His efforts to demolish the existing home have drawn ire from preservationists, who say the house is historical and deserves protection. Architect George Washington Smith, who gave Santa Barbara its distinctive look, designed the Spanish Colonial Revival home for Daniel Jackling, who formed the Utah Copper Co.”

Vo reports, “The Jackling house sits at the end of a narrow, tree-lined road, behind locked gates. The home — surrounded by hills and oaks and olive trees — is built in the Spanish style with adobe-style walls, red tiles and wrought-iron balconies. Jobs is not a fan, as he told the Woodside town council in December 2004. ‘I’ve worked with some of the best architects. I’m a lucky guy,’ he said then. ‘But I don’t think it’s a historic building.’ The town made Jobs offer to give the house away to anyone willing and able to move and restore it. He had to advertise the freebie for a year; no demolition permit would be issued before this month. About 100 people inquired about it after features appeared on TV’s ‘This Old House’ and in the New York Times and local papers, Ellman said. Only one person had the means to actually take on the project, which would cost at least $7.5 million, according to town estimates. But that man’s investor was killed in an accident and it’s uncertain if he will still pursue the house, Ellman said. He would not comment if Jobs now plans to sell the property.”

Full article here.
Why not just make sure nobody’s in there, stick an Xbox in the dump, and let it do its thing?

[Preemptory disclaimer for the humor impaired: We do not condone or promote arson. Arson is a crime. Do not burn down houses or anything else with Xboxes or by any other method.]

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Related articles:
Microsoft sued over defective Xbox 360 consoles, suit alleges units prone to freeze ups, overheating – December 05, 2005
UK woman narrowly survives Xbox fire; users report Xbox 360 ‘crashing like mad’ – November 23, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs offers ‘dump’ of a house free to anyone who’ll take it away – January 03, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs gets green light to tear down his ‘dump’ of a house – December 15, 2004
Preservationists battle Apple CEO Steve Jobs over his ‘dump’ of a house – October 17, 2004


  1. Why not just dispense with the stupid arson references that require a “preemptory disclaimer”? Can’t be more creative than using an xbox?

    How about a bank of PowerMacs stuck in full-fan mode to blow the house off the property?

  2. for steve: build your new house at a DIFFERENT location!

    He must really like the spot, but history can’t be recovered once it is destroyed. A compromise is made.

    Steve must build his new house someplace else if the old one is really of architectural significance.

  3. “Tell the preservationists to put up or shut up. Buy the MF or let him tear it down. It is HIS property.”

    In the same vein, would it be alright in your view to purchase and demolish the statue of liberty? Laws protecting important properties exist for a reason, you know.

    Is this building historical? Meh.

  4. I’ve seen pictures – this isn’t exactly a house that inspires oohs and ahhhs through its architecture or features. The property is awesome, but the house isn’t.

    If SJ sold the property, I bet you the house comes down…

    Just because the house was owned by somebody famous once, doesn’t make it a treasure. Fame and wealth do not necessarily travel in the same circles as taste and style.

  5. “Why not just dispense with the stupid arson references that require a “preemptory disclaimer”? Can’t be more creative than using an xbox?
    How about a bank of PowerMacs stuck in full-fan mode to blow the house off the property?”

    zupchuck, you’re condoning, even suggesting, defacing, destroying or otherwise vandalizing private property! you’re being careless and irresponsible by even suggesting such actions.

    maybe we should use a bank of PowerMacs to blow over your house…

    or at least to blow all the crap out of your room in your parent’s house.

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  6. There are enough parts of Woodside that are preserved. Why don’t they let him alone? If I were him (with his financial capacity and lawyers), I would sue the City of Woodside. If he was told when he bought the house that it was historical, that would be different. But for them to bitch after he bought the house, is fscked up.

    Let him build his dream house on the property. I don’t see the City of Woodside forking out the $7.5 million to move the house somewhere else, so shut the fsck up people.

    Jim Rome

  7. and that’s why our American heritage is protected by our laws.

    America doesn’t stand for “do whatever you want all the time.” You can’t torture “your” dog, you can’t beat “your” kids, and you can’t destroy “your” piece of history. Not even if you paid to live in it.

    By your logic, the highest bidder could buy the Washington monument and tear it down because he “owns” it.

    Owning the house means it can’t be taken from Steve without paying for it. And nobody’s trying to do that.

    Think a little before reacting, people!

  8. Does anyone here know the details of that decision?

    No? Didn’t think so. Yet you will all jump in and ASSUME the house is NOT historical… just because it belongs to Steve Jobs?

    A lot of people and judges have spent more time looking into this than you have. Ever consider that the decision wasn’t a simple one, and that there MIGHT be some historical value you aren’t expert enough to judge in 15 seconds?

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