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Jobs cleared to demolish historic mansion

post #1 of 25
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After battling with preservationists, local authorities have given Steve Jobs the OK to tear down a historic house residing on his property.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs reportedly received the green light from local government officials this week to demolish a historic mansion on his property in Woodside, Calif.

The 1926 Daniel C. Jackling estate was designed by George Washington Smith, the architect who created the look of Montecito and Santa Barbara in the 1920's.

Although Jobs once occupied the house, he's recently sought local authority to demolish the building, which he describes as "one of the biggest abominations of a house I've ever seen."

According to CNet News.com, "The Woodside Town Council held a public hearing Tuesday night to consider the preservationists' appeal of an earlier decision by the town's planning commission in June. In that decision, the commission, noting that there were no historic preservation ordinances on its books, approved the demolition, providing certain contingences were met."

However, Jobs cannot demolish the house until he receives a permit to do so, and in the meantime is required to share the cost of advertising and promoting the donation of the estate to any organization willing to cart it away.

Other homes designed by Smith have reportedly been offered for sale for millions of dollars.
post #2 of 25
And how would this would relate to Apple's products or strategic plan . . . ?
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by gruth
And how would this would relate to Apple's products or strategic plan . . . ?

He'll now live in a giant iMac.
post #4 of 25
Y'know, a G5 iMac on it's back would make a hell of a ranch house with a massive skylight...
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post #5 of 25
While demolition professionals will be hired to demolish the walls and the fences, Steve Jobs himself will personally smash the Windows and destroy the Gates.
post #6 of 25
It doesn't relate to Apple's products or strategy as I see it. It's really more about Apple's CEO.

And I hope someone buys the place. Like art, you can't get history back once it's destroyed.

Has jobs offered to give it away? He could afford that including the moving expenses. He could even afford to repair it after the fact if he wanted to... in which case I'll take it
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
It doesn't relate to Apple's products or strategy as I see it. It's really more about Apple's CEO.

And I hope someone buys the place. Like art, you can't get history back once it's destroyed.

Sure you can. Its a house. It has plans. You can build one just like it (although the surroundings may not be just like it). As opposed to art, what happens when you 'restore' a house is you tend to have to gut huge hunks of it to replace walls, timbers, plaster, plumbing, wires, etc, then put in new stuff that looked like the old stuff. So the only thing left of the original ends up being the outside. And even that gets replaced/repainted/etc as time goes on. So long after it went up, the only 'original' part of the house is the look itself.
post #8 of 25
I really don't get this whole business of a group of people trying to tell him what he can do with his property. It's not like he's planning to dump toxic waste or anything else that is potentially harmful to others nearby.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
While demolition professionals will be hired to demolish the walls and the fences, Steve Jobs himself will personally smash the Windows and destroy the Gates.

ok THATS funny
flick.
post #10 of 25
*wrong thread*
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post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
I really don't get this whole business of a group of people trying to tell him what he can do with his property. It's not like he's planning to dump toxic waste or anything else that is potentially harmful to others nearby.

The house he is in is considered to be a significant work by a significant architect by some. While this could be debated (I have no opinion on it) hundreds and even thousands of buildings (commercial, public and private) are tagged and placed on the National Historic Register for Architecture for instance.

If there wasn't a mechanism like this in place, what would stop anyone with money or influence (or plain luck via inheritance) from destroying our architectural treasures or history?

If I was a neighbor of Steve's I would be fearing that he will build something that looks as bad as the facade on most of the Apple Stores in this country.
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post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by kcmac
The house he is in is considered to be a significant work by a significant architect by some.

Apparently this particular building is in *incredibly* poor shape, and was built extremely poorly to begin with. It's not a stellar example of the architect's work, and is in very bad shape. One estimate I saw said that it would cost less to build the house over from scratch than to repair this particular one. \

I'm all for preserving important buildings and architecture, but this one sounds like it would be just not worth it.
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post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
I really don't get this whole business of a group of people trying to tell him what he can do with his property. It's not like he's planning to dump toxic waste or anything else that is potentially harmful to others nearby.

Don't open THAT can of worms.

Schmidm...while you and I have butted heads (a bit) in another forum on anotehr subject...it looks like we'd agree 100% on this topic.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
After battling with preservationists, local authorities have given Steve Jobs the OK to tear down a historic house residing on his property.

That's weird, I didn't know that the local authorities were the ones that were battling with the preservationists.
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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
I really don't get this whole business of a group of people trying to tell him what he can do with his property. It's not like he's planning to dump toxic waste or anything else that is potentially harmful to others nearby.

Ditto, it is kind of like these neighborhood boards and community codes that are formed after the developements are built, and have been for a while, these few think that they can impose their will on others and that is just not the way America works!

By the way, if preservation was the goal, why did they not work harder to get it moved when that offer was on the table a few months back?
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post #16 of 25
This house made the back page of This Old House Magazine last month. It's getting plenty of attention, should anybody want it.

Heck, I have no use for the house, but I wouldn't mind going over and taking out some of the mosaic murals and detail work.

Noone's lived there for a while and there are no windows in some places. Water has done considerably damage.

IIRC it's free but will cost $1.5M to move across town, plus the cost of the property to put it on.

It's something like 17,000 square feet.

The new house will have the proportions of an iPod with one gigantic window across the top half.
post #17 of 25
in my neighborhood in DC, some people are trying to make it a historic district when many of the houses here have been messed with over and over again..
they are doing it to prevent "McMansions" but really it is just pissing people off...

there is nothing historic about it, people have been messing with the homes very recently.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Apparently this particular building is in *incredibly* poor shape, and was built extremely poorly to begin with. It's not a stellar example of the architect's work, and is in very bad shape. One estimate I saw said that it would cost less to build the house over from scratch than to repair this particular one. \

I'm all for preserving important buildings and architecture, but this one sounds like it would be just not worth it.

Boy, there are a lot of unsupported suppositions in your post: "apparently the building is in incredibly poor shape." Says who? Steve Jobs, that's who! Could it possibly be he has a vested interest in making the house appear to be in bad shape?

In fact, a member of the Woodside Town Council toured the home & said it was in pretty decent shape & that he'd restored homes that were in worse shape.

And for others here who believe that rich brats like Jobs & others should be allowed to do whatever they wish with property they own: you should be aware of some of the remarkable architectural treasures which have been smashed to bits through such laissez faire approaches to property decisions. In 1966, they tore down the old Penn Station to make way for the new Madison Square Garden. THis goes down in U.S. history as perhaps the most scandalous, vandalous tear down.

Sure we can let anyone tear down whatever they want as long as they own it. Let's tear down the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm sure people like Steve Jobs can suggest far nicer & better options for these sites.

I say if Jobs wants to desecrate this home, he should not only give the house away--he should pay the $2.5 million it'll take to relocate & rebuild it. What's $2.5 million to someone like Jobs? A few hundred thousand sales of iPods will more than repay him.

As for me, I've decided that I don't need Apple products or Steve Jobs in my life as long as he wants to be the Attila the Hun of architectural preservation.
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post #19 of 25
The 'unsupported' suppositions came from an LA Times article on it many months ago.

You're welcome to vote with your dollars, but please, don't make sophomoric attacks based on your speculations as to what may or may not be the rationale or basis for a stated position. Provide a counter-position, with facts and sources, or please, don't bother. It's just a waste of time.
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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
The 'unsupported' suppositions came from an LA Times article on it many months ago.

You're welcome to vote with your dollars, but please, don't make sophomoric attacks based on your speculations as to what may or may not be the rationale or basis for a stated position. Provide a counter-position, with facts and sources, or please, don't bother. It's just a waste of time.

It's easy for someone to say a house is decrepit when it hasn't been lived in or maintained for years. But that definitely does not mean that it is not an architectural jewel worthy of preservation. Or do you wish to substitute your judgment for the National Trust for HIstoric Preservation which has decried Jobs' plans?

Does this LA Times reporter know anything about architectural history? Did he quote anyone in the article who does? In fact, the comments in the LA Times article follow the Jobs "line" entirely if you follow the various public comments he's made about how "shabby" & "abominable" it supposedly is.

What makes my argument sophomoric? And it certainly is not based on speculation. I've done a great deal of research on the subject reflected in this blog post I've written: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/ti...jobs_atti.html

And how much research have you done to know that my own judgment is "sophomoric" or "speculation"?
Richard
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post #21 of 25
Your speculation was knowing what my rationale was.

Your sophomoric behaviour was in whining that I was pulling things out of thin air (when I wasn't), without providing any actual content of your own.

You have a different opinion, fine, please take it up with the LA Times reporter, not me. You obviously have an axe to grind, and I'm not interested in playing.

If you have more facts, (note, not opinion pieces on a blog, but facts) please provide them, or better yet, provide sources so that we may draw our own conclusions.

Otherwise, I simply don't see the point in continuing this.
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post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Your speculation was knowing what my rationale was.

Your sophomoric behaviour was in whining that I was pulling things out of thin air (when I wasn't), without providing any actual content of your own.

You have a different opinion, fine, please take it up with the LA Times reporter, not me. You obviously have an axe to grind, and I'm not interested in playing.

If you have more facts, (note, not opinion pieces on a blog, but facts) please provide them, or better yet, provide sources so that we may draw our own conclusions.

Otherwise, I simply don't see the point in continuing this.

YOu are one of the more obtuse, misinformed people I've had the misfortune to meet on-line.

Just because something is written in a blog does not mean it is not factual. The sources which you claim are missing from my post are right there in front of your nose--if you'd bother to read it.

My blog post is filled with documentary photographs and links to research prepared by architectural historians appraising George Washington Smith's work & this particular house. If you continue to choose to denigrate that as based on opinion & not facl, then first you haven't read my post & 2nd...well, then you're all the things I wrote above. And this too will confirm that when serious experts in this field disagree with your opinion (as gleaned from a single LA Times article), you choose to continue to live in ignorance & bliss.
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post #23 of 25


You're positively *adorable* when you get your widdle hackles up like that.

1) Never have I said that I agreed with the decision to tear it down, have I? Yet you have *assumed* that is my position. Excellent work there in being utterly wrong.

2) My original post regarding the state of the house was peppered with 'apparently' and other qualifiers, indicating rather clearly that these were second-hand pieces of information. I guess you missed those, and instead decided that I was presenting them as my own. Wrong again.

3) Your personal opinion is still your personal opinion. And yes, I did read your blog. It was an emotionally charged rant. I have a hard time taking your 'article' as anything other than biased and prejudicial, but that's fine, it's your position to take. You did link to other sites... other news stories, which you then swiped quotes from. Do you have a personal interview with anyone? Not that I see. Perhaps it is just mixed in with the other unattributed quotes. Do you have perhaps even a link to a page stating an official position of the National Trust for Historic Preservation? No, just a generic link to their website. You have two photos of the house. One taken from another blog, one from the Woodside Historical Commitee... I guess you had to scan that one in yourself. Other than that, though, it all looks quite second-, third-, or further-hand. I'm failing to see any evidence of a 'great deal of research', but I guess my standards of academic and journalistic rigor are just a bit higher. To each their own.

This entire asinine personal attack against me has been based solely on your own wrong assumptions and conclusions, and continuing to draw this out is just making you look even worse. Go find someone else to whine at erroneously.
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post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha You're positively *adorable* when you get your widdle hackles up like that.

And I suppose this passes for wit where you come from? And so rapier sharp!
Quote:
1) Never have I said that I agreed with the decision to tear it down, have I? Yet you have *assumed* that is my position. Excellent work there in being utterly wrong.

Ah, but you did. You wrote above:
Quote:
...This particular building is in *incredibly* poor shape, and was built extremely poorly to begin with. It's not a stellar example of the architect's work, and is in very bad shape...this one sounds like it would be just not worth it.

Most people would read that & say you were fine with the idea of destroying it. If what you wrote above means you're now in favor of preserving the house, then I applaud you for that. It's the first reasonable statement you've made in this entire thread, but good for you for coming to this view.
Quote:
3) Your personal opinion is still your personal opinion. And yes, I did read your blog. It was an emotionally charged rant. I have a hard time taking your 'article' as anything other than biased and prejudicial, but that's fine, it's your position to take.

You just said you weren't in favor of tearing the house down & now you attack my post which holds precisely the same view & you say it was a "rant" & "biased & prejudicial." You can't have it both ways. And as for being my personal opinion...No it's much more than that as it contains quotations & links to architectural historians, the preservationist on the Woodside History commmittee & another preservationist leading the campaign for the house all of whom happen to agree with my view of the matter.
Quote:
You did link to other sites... other news stories, which you then swiped quotes from.

Do you have a personal interview with anyone? Not that I see.

So let me get this straight...if I use the standard tools of academic researchers & journalists of seeking & finding material from experts on a particular subject & feature that in my post, then that's "swiping quotes." Or is it just me who swipes quotes but any other researcher doing the same thing would be performing a legitmate research function? Or possibly every single quotation in my post must be from original research & interviews which I perform in order for them to be legitimate? Sorry, but that's not the standard by which research is judged. I'm not writing an original book or academic paper. I'm someone who loves good architecture & old homes and knows quite a bit about the architectural preservation movement. Who says one needs to be a PhD to have something legitimate to say on such a subject? Only you, apparently.
Quote:
Do you have perhaps even a link to a page stating an official position of the National Trust for Historic Preservation? No, just a generic link to their website.

Well, yes I do if you'd bothered to follow the links I'd provided in the post you'd have read the following:
Quote:
"It's a significant house, and it can continue to serve the community," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "It's symptomatic of a discard society. He ought to buy another lot."

But then if I'd included this quotation directly in my post instead of linking to it,, you'd have called this yet another "swiped quotation."
Quote:
You have two photos of the house. One taken from another blog, one from the Woodside Historical Commitee... Other than that, though, it all looks quite second-, third-, or further-hand.

So let me see, I found two pieces of archival material documenting the architectural distinction of the house, but because I didn't have to fly down to Woodside, CA. or the Santa Barbara Art Museum to get them, then somehow that makes them cheap & insignificant. Again, that's not how research works. If you find something original & authentic you can use it no matter whether you traveled 1,000 miles to get it or you never left your chair.
Quote:
This entire asinine personal attack against me

I think the pot's calling the kettle black here. I didn't call you "asinine" or "a whiner" nor did I criticize you at all (though I did criticize what you wrote in your first post in this thread) until you unleashed your attempts at invective against me.
Quote:
...continuing to draw this out is just making you look even worse.

I suggest that others may find your contribution to this colloquy doesn't put you in the most favorable light either.

No doubt, despite your protestation about how much more imporant things you have to do than listen to me, you'll be back to have the last word. Have it & welcome to it.
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post #25 of 25
No, none needed, I think you've more than adequately taken care of things.
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