Almanac

News - February 13, 2013

Woodside: Jackling House artifacts may find new home

by Dave Boyce

A couple building a new home in Woodside have expressed interest in obtaining from the town several artifacts retrieved from the Jackling House, a 1926 Spanish Colonial house once located on Mountain Home Road. The town came into custody of many of the house's furnishings after finding itself in the middle of a dispute over its fate, and the Town Council will look into this latest proposal at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Independence Hall.

The Jackling House's first owner, copper baron Daniel Jackling, used it as a summer home. Its last owner was former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who disliked it and had plans to replace it with a modern home. Mr. Jobs had the home demolished in 2010 after winning a decade-long battle with preservation-oriented friends of the architect's works, including some Woodside residents.

The couple planning a new house on Whiskey Hill Road, Ben Gilad and Qian Su, will build it in the architectural style of Mr. Smith, according to a staff report. They listed several Jackling House items that interest them, including doors and door knockers, chandeliers and light fixtures, decorative grill work, wooden railings and panels, curtain rods and a fireplace screen, the report said.

Several significant items in the town's possession are not on the list, including a 50-foot flagpole, a copper mailbox, roof tiles, an organ, and fireplace mantles.

While the artifacts on the couple's list have not been appraised, none are considered by town staff to be worth more than $1,000 each, which is significant. If the value of town-owned property that "cannot be used by any department" is $1,000 or less, the town manager has the discretion to dispose of it, including renting, destroying or selling it "upon such terms as he/she deems best." With items valued at more than $1,000, the manager needs the consent of the Town Council.

In an agreement ahead of the destruction of the house, the town acquired the right of first refusal on the artifacts, with the San Mateo County Historical Association being next in line and then the University Art Museum, the University of California, Santa Barbara, where there is a concentration of Smith-designed homes. Staff are proposing that the Woodside couple be next in line, followed at some point by a four-hour silent auction on a weekday during business hours for the artifacts remaining. Proceeds would go to the community education programs at the Woodside Community Museum.

The issue is before the council "because the value of the salvage items is not known for certain and given the history of the Jackling Estate, transparency and community agreement on this matter is appropriate," the staff report said.

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