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June 08, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Steve Jobs finds takers for historic Woodside house Steve Jobs finds takers for historic Woodside house (June 08, 2005)

By Andrea Gemmet

Almanac Staff Writer

Steve Jobs may think it's an eyesore, but apparently there are a few people out there who rather like the historic Jackling house designed by George Washington Smith.

They like it enough to pony up several million dollars for restoration, a team of experts to oversee the work and a plot of land large enough to contain the17,000-plus-square-foot mansion.

In order to get the 1926 Jackling house off his property on Mountain Home Road in Woodside, Mr. Jobs was obliged by the Woodside Town Council to try to "give it away" to anyone willing and qualified to save it from the wrecking ball.

Friday, June 3, was the deadline for formal proposals from interested parties.

Howard Ellman, Mr. Jobs' San Francisco-based attorney, said Monday that his office had received a few proposals, but declined to say exactly how many or who had made them.

"We're going to be talking to the people who made them, and see if we can make them into a definitive agreement," Mr. Ellman said. "We have enough to work with, and we may get a few more in today."

There is a July 31 deadline to choose a qualified taker of the house. While Mr. Jobs isn't charging anything for the house, it does have a steep price tag. Among the qualifications listed in the Jackling house request for proposals: the ability to assemble a team of contractors and consultants with experience in historic restoration, a place to put the house, and evidence of the financial ability to pay the estimated $7.6 million it will take to deconstruct, move, reconstruct and seismically upgrade the neglected Spanish colonial revival-style manse.

Mr. Jobs has said publicly that he will contribute some funds toward the moving expenses, and the request for proposals says the amount will be based on the final terms of the proposal that is accepted.

Finding someone willing to take the Jackling house is just one facet of the controversy over the future of the house. Uphold Our Heritage, a group of historic preservationists led by Clotilde Luce, the daughter of a former owner of the Jackling house, is suing the town of Woodside for giving permission for the house to be demolished or removed.

The lawsuit contends that the Town Council's decision violates portions of the California Environmental Quality Act dealing with historic resources.

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