Jobs tries to demolish historic mansion -- again

His request for a permit goes before Woodside Town Council on Tuesday

Steve Jobs is not a quitter. He's trying once again to get permission to tear down the historic Jackling house in Woodside.

The Apple founder's request for a demolition permit will go back before the Woodside Town Council on Tuesday, April 28 with new information about his plans to replace the rambling Spanish colonial-style mansion on Mountain Home Road with more modern digs.

Mr. Job's last attempt to tear down the 17,000-plus-square-foot house was undone by a historic preservation group that took the town and Mr. Jobs to court and won, despite several rounds of appeals.

This time, representatives of Mr. Jobs have provided the additional information that the courts said were lacking when the town voted to grant the demolition permit in December 2004. The house has been abandoned for the past decade, and Mr. Jobs has been seeking to level it since 2001.

Designed by noted architect George Washington Smith and built for copper industry magnate Daniel C. Jackling in 1925, the house is considered a historic resource under the California Environmental Quality Act.

When the town granted the permit, they took the unusual step of requiring Mr. Jobs to try and find someone willing to relocate and restore the house. Mr. Jobs' attorney has said that there have been no reasonable offers to take the house. The preservation group, called Uphold Our Heritage, say that's not the case, and point to two serious offers that have been rebuffed.

The Woodside Town Council is not expected to take action at Tuesday's meeting, and Uphold Our Heritage is asking for a continuance. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in Independence Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, Woodside.

■ Link to town staff report


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm

If Mr. Jobs wants the house gone he has enough money to have it moved where someone else might want it relocated. It is such a crime not to try and preserve some of our heritage as young as it might be. Too bad everyone can't work together on this!

Like this comment
Posted by Davis
a resident of Woodside School
on Apr 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm


Have you seen the house? It's been a disaster for years, not just since Mr. Jobs aquired it....

Perhaps you would like to help contribute to preserving all of the other houses designed by Mr. Smith.

This house is not "our" heritage.

Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Apr 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Mr. Jobs has the right as the owner do do with his property as he pleases.

He has offered to not sell, but pay a million dollars to someone to take the structure away. No takers.

Seems the preservationist movement wants him to sell his lot with the building at an under market price so the architecture fans can have a like minded person restore and live in this place. I don't see the fairness in that. Just because Jobs is rich doesn't mean he's not entitled to fairness.

Furthermore, there is no obligation by Jobs or any new owner to actually show the house, nor should there be. And my understanding is that it is not visible to the public from public property. So we are debating things we cannot even see. I see little difference between this, and mandating the art people need to keep hanging on their bedrooms.

Hardly the open minded democratic freedom I'd like to see.

Like this comment
Posted by Clio
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Apr 24, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Steve hasn't offered anyone $1 million, and there have been a number of would-be takers.

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen A
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Apr 25, 2009 at 9:33 am

Its his property. Let him build something.

This is ridiculous. Heritage? Its not the freaking Acropolis!

Why dont the opposers raise the money and buy the house themselves? A bunch of whiners who wont pout their money where their mouth is.

Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Apr 25, 2009 at 11:29 am

Jobs, doesn't need "would be takers" . What is needed are TAKERS. In the absence of takers, we need live and let livers.

Like this comment
Posted by Don D'Anthony
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Apr 26, 2009 at 12:20 am

Sure it's "our heritage".

Web Link)

Architecture is a part of every society's heritage, civilized ones anyway. Sad that Jobs wants to tear it down. One can't tear historic buildings down without good reason-it's unethical to destroy the creative work of a previous generation based on fad and fashion.

Like this comment
Posted by Matt
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 26, 2009 at 9:01 am

I am in favor of saving and preserving property that has architecture value – this house has none. None. Anyone who comments on saying this house should be saved – I can guarantee they have not seen the house. Please use common sense when enforcing subjective regulation.

Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

I love how these neo-socialists think they have the duty to vacate other people's property rights. They just don't believe in individual property rights. They believe that far left organizations' interests should supersede those of the property owner. If they love Job's house so much let them buy it and move it or "Move-On". It's his land and unless he is building a nuclear power plant in Woodside I think the neosocialists should quit harrassing him.

Jobs should thank his lucky stars he doesn't live in Menlo Park where we have 3 city council members so far to the left that they make Nancy Pelosi look like a member of the John Birch Society by comparison.

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen A
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Apr 26, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Right on Hank!

Don D'Anthony, its a building. Its not art. Don't you believe in individual property rights? Since you dont, go out and raise the money yourself to buy the house.

Like this comment
Posted by Thom
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Apr 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Menlo Park has to abide by CEQA just like Woodside does. Your beef is with the state law that says that there is a value to historically important architecture.

Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm

My argument is with neo-socialists who make the specious argument that run-down old properties are historically significant. Its all about the far left wanting to control people's lives. After all they know what is best and we are so fortunate to have them to make all these terribly difficult decisions for us.

Like this comment
Posted by cruiser
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Apr 29, 2009 at 9:31 am

What ever happened to the house that was on Larry Ellisons property? A Julia Morgan designed house I belive for the Drexler's. It was dismantled and moved but where to?

Like this comment
Posted by Sandra
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Apr 29, 2009 at 10:25 am

The pieces of the Julia Morgan house are still in storage somewhere Coastside, last I heard.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Delia Ehrlich
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 1, 2009 at 10:04 am

I agree that this so called "Jackling House" is an inferior example of George Washington's Smith's style and has deteriorated well beyond any useful function. Furthermore, Mr. Jobs should have the right to build a home which he likes on his own property and it will probably be smaller, contemporary, and much more appropriate to the lot size and Woodside community. As the owner of an Historically Registered Greene and Greene house in Woodside, I cherish preservation of significant structures but not at the expense of good taste, functionality or usability. What use is it to keep a crumbling old mansion which no one can see or visit just to say it is there? Let Mr. Jobs get on with demolition and construction of a usable and attractive contemporary home for himself and his family.

Like this comment
Posted by Ryan
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on May 1, 2009 at 2:29 pm

If the house is falling apart and no one will take it, then I think he should be allowed to do what he wants to do with the property. It's his, after all.

Like this comment
Posted by a former castilleja student w/ Clo Luce
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 2, 2009 at 8:22 am

Get over it - It has been more than close to 30 years since you lived there - If you want the house preserved -than buy it!! Stop your campaigning from Florida

Like this comment
Posted by Don D'Anthony
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2009 at 8:14 pm

First of all the people who implied I am a socialist or don't respect property rights should reconsider. I despise socialism-it's truly ever and always a mask for tyranny, and property rights are sacrosanct in my worldview.

I made an argument for the case of the buildings worth-and Architecture is an art form, Citizen A, high art at that and every civilized advanced society has building codes and laws regarding such matters. It is never an arbitrary process.

I haven't seen the house per se, and neither am I structural engineer. But the broad demonization of anyone making an argument for historic preservation and Architecture as an Art form as "socialist" and "not repsecting property rights is dubious.

As for you Hank, you strike me as an internet bully. Calling me a "neo-socialist" is about as insulting as one can get. If you want to insult me, please do it to my face like a man.

Socialist...might as well call me a murderous thief.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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