Almanac

News - July 10, 2013

Woodside considers disposition of Jackling House artifacts

by Dave Boyce

Since 2010, Woodside has owned a collection of antiques that have had historical value but not an appraised dollar value. Now they have one: $30,825.

The collection from the Jackling House on Mountain Home Road includes a 50-foot copper-and-iron flagpole ($800), eight plated-metal Mediterranean Revival wall sconces ($2,000), a three-light pool-table light of Arts and Crafts movement provenance ($1,000) and a 1929 cast-copper mailbox ($2,000).

These artifacts recall the Spanish Colonial Revival mansion built in the 1920s and demolished in February 2011 by Apple Corp. CEO Steve Jobs after a long legal battle and fight in the court of public opinion with Jackling House fans in Woodside and elsewhere.

The Town Council had requested an appraisal of the artifacts' value and planned to meet July 9 to consider what to do next.

(Visit AlmanacNews.com for updates. This story went to press prior to the meeting.)

Council members have said they would like to keep the artifacts, but space is a problem. Some are on display in the Woodside Community Museum, but many are locked away in a weather-proof container outside.

"Personally, I'm not interested in disposing of any of that stuff," Councilman Peter Mason said in February when the council last considered the artifacts' disposition. "It seems odd to me that we would give it away just because it's sitting around. ... I think we should figure out a way to store it."

Mr. Mason was referring to interest expressed for some of the artifacts by Woodside residents Ben Gilad and Qian Su. The couple are planning a new house on Whiskey Hill Road in the style of Jackling House architect George Washington Smith. Among the artifacts the couple said they'd like to acquire: doors and door knockers, chandeliers and light fixtures, decorative grill work, wooden railings and panels, curtain rods and a fireplace screen.

Commenting on the estimated value of the artifacts, Kathryn Wilen Hobart and Douglas S. Baxter of the San Francisco firm of Hobart Associates write: "The provenance, of primarily regional interest, has some bearing on the value and was considered in the valuation conclusions. Unfortunately, most of the material is in fair or poor condition and considerable expense will need to be undertaken to properly reclaim this collection for modern use.

"The objects of the highest potential value include those most closely associated with the Jackling legacy and his company, Kennecott Copper Company and mine," they write. "The overall market is clearly narrow and limited for much of this inventory which, under normal demolition circumstances, might have been discarded or sold as scrap salvage."

The artifacts of interest to Ms. Su and Mr. Gilad have an appraised value of $16,150, Town Manager Kevin Bryant said in a staff report.

The couple will be fourth in line. Rights of first refusal, in priority order, are held by the town, the San Mateo County Historical Association and the University Art Museum at the University of California in Santa Barbara. (Santa Barbara County is home to 54 houses designed by Mr. Smith, according to an entry at architect.com.) From what artifacts are left, the staff report recommends offering them for sale to Ms. Su and Mr. Gilad, with the remainder to be auctioned off at a later time.

Go to tinyurl.com/Jackling for the staff report and the appraisal, which begins on Page 8.

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