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Jobs to get another shot at demolishing "abomination" of a home

post #1 of 145
Thread Starter 
One of Apple chief Steve Jobs' longer personal struggles is returning to the limelight as a local town council is reviewing his request to demolish a historic house once described by the executive as an "abomination."

This next Tuesday, the Woodside Town Council will review the longstanding request from Jobs to scrap Jackling House in favor of a smaller, contemporary home.

The review would follow previously unmentioned dialogue between Jobs and the Town Council from last year where the Apple co-founder had made a more concerted effort to persuade local officials that scrapping the 1925-era building was more efficient than restoring it to a workable condition. A permit application attempt from 2008 broke down the costs and explained that it would take $13.3 million to restore Jackling House -- which sprawls over 17,250 square feet and hasn't been used for 10 years -- but only $8.2 million to build a completely new, 6,000-square-foot home in its place.

In September, Jobs also claimed through his lawyer Howard Ellman that he had made a "persistent and expensive effort" to offer the house to someone else rather than take on the work himself. Two are still considering a move but haven't made any tangible commitments, he said.

Even so, Jobs is still expected to face stiff opposition during the 2009 review process. The same Uphold Our Heritage organization that overturned Jobs' permit in 2007 disputes the claims made by Jobs. COH lawyer Doug Carstens insists that Jobs hasn't actively sought out a buyer in some time and claims that the CEO is exaggerating the costs by assuming that he would have to shoulder all the costs himself, rather than splitting them with a buyer.

The preservation society considers Jackling House too important to destroy as it reflects a Spanish Colonial Revival style that has few remaining examples left. Previously, COH accused Jobs of letting the building fall apart to make a new building easier to justify than maintaining an old building which he has openly disdained as an eyesore.

If Jobs is successful in a review of his request, though, it will bring to an end a municipal fight that has occupied much of the decade: Jobs had originally filed for a permit to demolish the building in 2001 and got the go-ahead in 2004, only to have it contested and rejected three years later.
post #2 of 145
Torch it!
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post #3 of 145
Quote:
Jobs had originally filed for a permit to demolish the building in 2001 and got the go-ahead in 2004, only to have it contested and rejected three years later.

And now it's 2009!!! Gosh, what a drag! C'mon 1925 shouldn't be considered "historic", Colonial architecture my ass it's a private house for God's sake. If Mr. Carstens thinks it's so easy to sell, then why doesn't he just buy it himself or find a buyer? There'll be no arguments then.

I guess that's the cost of being wealthy. Sheesh!! how stressful can Steve's life get?
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post #4 of 145
I understand why these historical society groups want to preserve historic architecture, but they should not be able to force a property owner to hold on to a money pit. If they want to preserve that house so badly, they should put their money where their mouths are and offer to buy it from Steve.
post #5 of 145
Is it just me or does it seem like Jobs is more interested in winning than actually building on that site. I think he just likes the fight.
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post #6 of 145
What does this have to do with Macs or Apple? Maybe next week you can list the minutes at the council meeting.
post #7 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

And now it's 2009!!! Gosh, what a drag! C'mon 1925 shouldn't be considered "historic", Colonial architecture my ass it's a private house for God's sake. If Mr. Carstens thinks it's so easy to sell, then why doesn't he just buy it himself or find a buyer? There'll be no arguments then. ...

I believe strongly in preserving historic buildings, but the fact that no one has expressed any interest in buying it for nine years or more is rather telling. If he hasn't tried it already, the obvious move is giving the house away to anyone who wants to haul it. If no one will take it even for free, then I don't see how anyone can oppose it's destruction.
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post #8 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

I understand why these historical society groups want to preserve historic architecture, but they should not be able to force a property owner to hold on to a money pit. If they want to preserve that house so badly, they should put their money where their mouths are and offer to buy it from Steve.

I do recall Jobs stating that he would sell the house for a $1 if the new owner would agree to move it at their cost. As for the comments above about torching the place, the amount of time that has passed since he house was built is not as important as the historical value the house represents. We loose our cultural past when worthy homes/building are destroyed by owners that just want the land they sit on to build some Mc Mansion.
post #9 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by teslacoil6603 View Post

What does this have to do with Macs or Apple? Maybe next week you can list the minutes at the council meeting.

i agree with you mate!

blame those stocks!
post #10 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by teslacoil6603 View Post

What does this have to do with Macs or Apple? Maybe next week you can list the minutes at the council meeting.

Macs are the name of the PC from Apple » Apple was co-founded by and has a CEO named Steve Jobs » Steve Jobs is the one they are talking about in the article.

This site also talks about products that may or not compete with Apple products in the future, like the Zune and Kindle.
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post #11 of 145
6000 sq feet is not a mansion.

I really don't see why this home owner can't do what he wants with his own land. (IF) He tried selling it, no one took it! So why force him to keep it?
post #12 of 145
Then the council can pay to have it restored. What good is the house doing anyone just sitting there rotting?

No one wants to pay to have it restored so either the council should cough up a good chunk of money or let it be demolished.
post #13 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

I understand why these historical society groups want to preserve historic architecture, but they should not be able to force a property owner to hold on to a money pit. If they want to preserve that house so badly, they should put their money where their mouths are and offer to buy it from Steve.

exactly! I understand the need as well, but I do NOT agree that they can overrule a home owner on their private property..
post #14 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

exactly! I understand the need as well, but I do NOT agree that they can overrule a home owner on their private property..

If the owner has the finally say over their property then that nullifies any potential effort of any historical society or home owners association. If Jobs bought the house knowing that there were certain requirements then he should abide by them, but if they were setup after the fact, which can happen with home owners associations, then it's a bit more convoluted.

The argument that I should be able to do anything with my property is a bit weak. If you have a million dollar home in a nice neighborhood and your neighbor decides to let his home and yard go, has old broken down vehicles in the yard your property value can be hurt so I see a need for such regulation.

But this home seems to be an eyesore because of the oversight. Perhaps there needs to be a built-in deadline for such things. If no one wants to remove the home for free and the society doesn't want to restore the home themselves they lose the right after x-many years.
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post #15 of 145
I guess this falls under the concept of eminent domain, but if that is what the town
council is claiming, they should be paying Mr. Jobs something.
post #16 of 145
Steve Jobs spends his whole life promoting "California values" which is all communal and anti private property, so them not respecting his ownership is just his chickens coming home to roost.
post #17 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

I guess this falls under the concept of eminent domain, but if that is what the town
council is claiming, they should be paying Mr. Jobs something.

I was thinking it fell under Deed Restriction and/or Neighborhood Association...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhood_association
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deed_restriction
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post #18 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by teslacoil6603 View Post

What does this have to do with Macs or Apple? Maybe next week you can list the minutes at the council meeting.

At least we know Steve is still alive. I keep expecting to see him on the cover of a magazine looking like poor patrick Swazey. I thing AI should keep an eye out for any Steve Sightings.
post #19 of 145
Does anyone have a link to pictures of the abomination? I can only find one image of the interior.
post #20 of 145
If this house was so important, they should've gave it historical status before Jobs bought it, or before he expressed an interest in changing/demolishing, not years later after he wanted to rebuild. Even then he was approved until moneyed lawyers sued him. To me, these things out weight the other considerations. Historical homes are important, but so is private property. Home owners associations can be real power nuts.
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post #21 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was thinking it fell under Deed Restriction and/or Neighborhood Association...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhood_association
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deed_restriction

Maybe. I have not kept up with this story all along, but the article says that the Woodside
town council, a government entity, is involved. At least in my home town in California,
the city council does not get involved in disputes related to homeowners associations.
Rather they must be resolved in civil court among the private parties. I thing that is the
difference.
post #22 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

This next Tuesday, the Woodside Town Council will review the longstanding request from Jobs to scrap Jackling House in favor of a smaller, contemporary home.

Jobs had originally filed for a permit to demolish the building in 2001 and got the go-ahead in 2004, only to have it contested and rejected three years later.


So, next Wednesday morning - if he gets the "go-ahead" - he should dynamite the damn joint. Timing is everything... or was that "location, location, location...
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post #23 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodrulz View Post

6000 sq feet is not a mansion.

It isn't?? How big is your mansion?
post #24 of 145
OK, here is all the crap.

http://www.woodsidetown.org/current_issues_events.html

All private property right folks need to weigh in.
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post #25 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

I do recall Jobs stating that he would sell the house for a $1 if the new owner would agree to move it at their cost. As for the comments above about torching the place, the amount of time that has passed since he house was built is not as important as the historical value the house represents. We loose our cultural past when worthy homes/building are destroyed by owners that just want the land they sit on to build some Mc Mansion.

While certainly this building is of historical value, I don't see historical societies have established such a grip on local governments. I don't understand how you can have your property rights taken away because you own something "historical."

If you think about it, this house was a McMansion at the time it was built. I'm sure hundreds of other millionaires of the day built the exact same style of home.

And honestly a house from 1925 isn't all that historical when you consider the fact that it's probably newer than a large percentage of European, African, and Asian buildings.

If he can't even give the house away for free the historical society needs to back off. Not everything from the past is worth saving. And like others have said, if they can't put up the cash to save it, then it's the owner's choice (or it should be).
post #26 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Steve Jobs spends his whole life promoting "California values" which is all communal and anti private property, so them not respecting his ownership is just his chickens coming home to roost.

What in the world are you talking about? Have you never been to Beverly Hills? It's not exactly a hippie commune.
post #27 of 145
I agree. I've seen photos of the place. It's boring Spanish Revival. It's not like it's a Neutra or a Wright home. It's a big monstrosity. Also 6000 square feet is small compared to say Bill Gate's home. The a nice 2 bedroom house is 2000 square feet. So Jobs only wants one that's 3 times bigger... probably with lots of open space and high ceilings. Imagine the amazing house that would replace that fake spanish villa.
post #28 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by djchubakka View Post

Imagine the amazing house that would replace that fake spanish villa.

And imagine the tax income the Town of Woodside could gather from the new structure and improvements! What a bunch of Idiots. Steve should just deed the damn place over to them and let them suck on it.
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post #29 of 145
I say bulldoze it now and ask for forgiveness later!
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post #30 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post

I say bulldoze it now and ask for forgiveness later!

Best idea yet
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post #31 of 145
Why is this even considered new worthy?
post #32 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post

I say bulldoze it now and ask for forgiveness later!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

Best idea yet

i agree. what's the penalty for razing a "protected" property. i'm sure he can afford it. :-) i'm sure the backlash would be significant, though.

so, on a more serious note:

steves a *billionaire*. since preservationists would be happy to have the home moved elsewhere, why doesnt he just buy another lot, have the house moved there, then build what he wants on the current lot? even if that were to cost $10 million, whats that to someone whos worth in excess of $5 billion? (remember, a billion is a THOUSAND million. i know for a fact that people forget that.)

in other words, hes a millionaire 5 *thousand* times over! why not spend $10 million to move the house to another setting? (and i don't think it would actually cost that much.) then he could (a) put it on the market until a buyer comes along, and still (b) build his dream house on the current lot.

this seems so ridiculously simple, especially for someone as ultra-wealthy as he is. so, whats the big deal?
post #33 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Why is this even considered new worthy?

because many of us own real estate and are very interested in this sort of thing. and, um -- it's apple-related. (what's the name of this blog, again?)

if you don't think it's newsworthy, why didn't you just skip to the next article, instead of wasting your precious time leaving a comment?

when will commenters on blogs stop assuming that everyone else's lives and interests are exactly like their own?
post #34 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Jobs had originally filed for a permit to demolish the building in 2001 and got the go-ahead in 2004, only to have it contested and rejected three years later.


so is there something missing from this story?

or why could Jobs not get it knocked down inside those 3 years?
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post #35 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was thinking it fell under Deed Restriction and/or Neighborhood Association...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhood_association
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deed_restriction

When I saw it was the former owner of the property who was opposed to the house being knocked down my first reaction was - why didn't she write that into the deed?

I guess she didn't want deed restrictions reducing her selling price. So she wants the house to stay as long as it's someone else's loss, not hers.

Unless I'm missing something. Which I might be. I'm a bricklayer, not a Realtor®.
post #36 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundsgoodtome View Post

i agree. what's the penalty for razing a "protected" property. i'm sure he can afford it. :-) i'm sure the backlash would be significant, though.

so, on a more serious note:

steve’s a *billionaire*. since preservationists would be happy to have the home moved elsewhere, why doesn’t he just buy another lot, have the house moved there, then build what he wants on the current lot? even if that were to cost $10 million, what’s that to someone who’s worth in excess of $5 billion? (remember, a billion is a THOUSAND million. i know for a fact that people forget that.)

in other words, he’s a millionaire 5 *thousand* times over! why not spend $10 million to move the house to another setting? (and i don't think it would actually cost that much.) then he could (a) put it on the market until a buyer comes along, and still (b) build his dream house on the current lot.

this seems so ridiculously simple, especially for someone as ultra-wealthy as he is. so, what’s the big deal?

while i agree with most of that, I'd change it to "buy another lot, move the house there (numbered bricks or whatever) and leave the pile of rubble in a heap and also leave the rubble and new plot to the conservationists as a gift, with the caveat that if they don't raise the money to rebuild the house with in a set number of years, they forfeit any right to the land or property"

whats the big deal you ask?

its the principal of the thing, at this point Jobs is probably of the mind set that he WILL NOT LOSE! and after this length of time I can't say I blame him


Get well soon Steve
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post #37 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Then the council can pay to have it restored. What good is the house doing anyone just sitting there rotting?

No one wants to pay to have it restored so either the council should cough up a good chunk of money or let it be demolished.

You guys spouting off about the council this or council that should go look up the information on this house (and legal battle)'s history. The council approved his request years ago and it was challenged in court TWICE and he lost.
post #38 of 145
You run an Apple website—and have for many years—yet you are unable to follow the rules of possessive proper nouns when writing Jobs' name. I assume it wasn't an accident, since you used "Job's" twice in this article.

You have two options:

Jobs'
Jobs's


Never Job's
post #39 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Steve Jobs spends his whole life promoting "California values" which is all communal and anti private property, so them not respecting his ownership is just his chickens coming home to roost.

In what sense has Jobs spent his life promoting "California values", whatever those are?

The very obvious focus of Jobs' life has been to build enormously successful companies that employ lots of people, so are we to assume "California values" are those of aggressive entrepreneurialism?
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post #40 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by djchubakka View Post

I agree. I've seen photos of the place. It's boring Spanish Revival. It's not like it's a Neutra or a Wright home. It's a big monstrosity. Also 6000 square feet is small compared to say Bill Gate's home. The a nice 2 bedroom house is 2000 square feet. So Jobs only wants one that's 3 times bigger... probably with lots of open space and high ceilings. Imagine the amazing house that would replace that fake spanish villa.

The jackling house is 17,000 sqf... Steve wants to build 6,000 sqf... you have it flipped...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackling_House

personally, i feel before steve leaves us... let him build his dream house... it would be a historic site, far more worthy 200 years from now than one from a copper magnate (jackling) that hardly anyone has heard of...
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