Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Jackling House

Poor old Steve Jobs, all he wants is a retirement home for use for a few years when he’s done and dusted his current tech revolution taking computing from the PC and software paradigm to the cloud and touch. Naturally, given the chance to kick back and relax he seems to want to want to live near his old chum, Larry Ellison, in Woodside….but his efforts to tear down some 15-minute old slice of US history seem to have hit a wall yet again, as local history campaigners chuck yet another spanner in the works.

if you’ve been keeping up on the years of this campaign, Jobs owns some shambling old wreck of a residence called the Jacklling House. He’s been trying to get permission to knock it down, send it somewhere, anything but keep it for years and years and years, and he’s won frequent cases to almost get that permission, only to be knocked back by those local history campaigners.

Flash back to last month San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner last month upheld the Woodside Town Council’s decision to issue Jobs a demolition permit.

Jobs just wants to knock down the 7,250–square-foot mansion and replace it with a smaller home, probably the kind of pad that people will travel the world to marvel at, if it’s anything like a billionaire’s personal residence that’s inspired by the kind of design aesthetic that makes the Apple retail stores such a success.

Sadly, local campaigning group, Uphold Our Heritage, don’t want a new heritage, they want to hang onto the old stuff. Well, old by US standards (sorry US readers, but there’s older stuff in the world – London, Paris, Babylon).

So now the Uphold Our Heritage team have filed an appeal and are trying to get the courts to force Jobs to shift the mansion 2.3 miles away to a lot owned by residents Magalli and Jason Yoho, and restore the building there.

Yawn. (I mean look at it, it isn’t even that nice, it’s like a Hollywood film set, you keep expecting Zorro to come charging out waving his little sword around. Give Steve a place to hang his hammock, people).

Exclusive Shots of Steve Jobs’ Demolished House

This is the Jackling House—exactly how Steve Jobs has wanted it to look since he bought it in 1984, the year of the Macintosh launch. Demolished. Destroyed. Blown to smithereens.

We hired a plane to see the destruction from the air. Below is a video and some photos of the construction site—please excuse the shaky camera, but it was extremely windy, and the airplane was moving around like crazy. Click on the expand icon to see the video in full screen.

Even while Jobs lived in this house for a decade—with little more than a few rugs, lamps, a bed and his Bob Dylan records—he never liked it. In his words, the Spanish Colonial Revival building was a colossal monster, an architectural abomination. It may have been the Xanadu of copper mining magnate Daniel Cowan Jackling back in 1925, but it was never going to be Citizen Jobs' ivory tower.

It took him years of legal battling and lobbying to get permission to destroy the historic building. But finally, the defenders of the copper tycoon's manor lost, and Steve received his license-to-kill. His crew obliterated the house in a single day.

At last, Jobs has a dream spot to build his dream house.

Never look back

Jobs has never been nostalgic. One of the first things he did when he came back to Apple was to get rid of all the classic models that were stored—as in a museum—in a room on the Cupertino campus. He donated them to Stanford, and freed the room from its dedication to the past. According to Jobs, you should always look forward; whoever looks back in this industry inevitably fails.

That action—just like eliminating the Jackling House from the face of the planet—has been a constant in his career. While the man has shown that he is proud of his life achievements in interviews or his now famous 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, he doesn't have any doubts about deleting the past to create the future—no matter if he is right or wrong.

Steve's Homes

1955 • Steve Jobs is adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who live in a humble home with room for two kids in the Sunset District of San Francisco.

1960 • The Jobs family moves to Mountain View. The house had a garage, which Paul used to tinker with cars while Steve got interested in electronics.

1969 • The Jobs family moves to Los Altos. According to Michael Moritz'sReturn to the Little Kingdom, they bought a house "with a gently raked roof, a large garage and three bedrooms" in Los Altos because Steve Jobs wanted to go to a better school, Homestead High School. There, he met Steve Wozniak; in 1975 the two Steves would assemble Apple I circuit boards in this same garage.

1973 • Steve Jobs goes to Reed College, where he crashes at friends' dorm rooms and apartments. After dropping out, he keeps going to class, joins Atari, disappears from time to time to a hippie communal farm, and goes on a trip to India.

1982 • Steve buys an apartment in the top two floors of the San Remo, a Neo-Renaissance apartment building in NYC. He renovated his apartment for years with the help of famed architect IM Pei and sold it to U2's singer Bono in 2003. He never even lived there.

1984 • Jobs buys the Jackling House, a 14,540-square-foot, 14-bedroom manor designed by George Washington Smith and located in Woodside, CA 94062. He moves in with almost no furniture.

1991 • Jobs marries Laurene Powell and moves out of the cooper manor, to a new home on Waverley Street, in Palo Alto, California. This charming, rustic brick house, with big trees and a luscious garden where Jobs cultivates his own vegetables, is his current residence.

Photographs by Tutu Lee; Camera and lens rental by


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