Deal between Jobs and investor would pave way for dream house

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, who was recently given an "excellent" prognosis by the doctors that performed his liver transplant, is reportedly close to a new deal that could signal an end to a decade-long legal tussle over a mansion he owns in California's Woodside Hills and finally allow him to build the home of his dreams in its place.



Jobs purchased the 17,000 square-foot Spanish Colonial mansion in 1983, when he was just 29 years old, and lived in it for roughly 10 years before renting it out and then leaving it to deteriorate. It was originally built for copper mining magnate Daniel C. Jackling in 1926 by George Washington Smith, the architect who created the look of Montecito and Santa Barbara in the 1920's.



In 2001, Jobs filed for a permit to demolish the property, which he described as "one of the biggest abominations of a house" that he'd ever seen. Recent photos of the property, which sits on six wooded acres, show a structure with crumbling walls, blown out windows, decrepit ceilings, and debris strewn about. In its place, the Apple co-founder wants to build a smaller, contemporary-style home for his family.



Standing is his was have been preservationists, such as the Uphold Our Heritage (UOH) organization, which has argued before the Woodside Town Council on numerous occasions that the Jackling mansion represents one of few remaining examples of a Spanish Colonial Revival style home, and is therefore too important to destroy.



For his part, Jobs offered many years ago to give the home away to anyone who was willing to relocate and restore it. When those efforts failed in earnest, he successfully moved to acquired a permit to raze the structure, only to have it overturned by the UOH three years later. The Apple luminary more recently made a second bid to demolish the structure, outlining in documents for the local town council that it would cost him approximately $5 million more to restore the house than it would to tear it down and build a new one.



The council again OK'd Jobs to move ahead with demolition earlier this year and held a final town council vote Tuesday on his permit to do so, which favored Jobs' motion 5-2. With UOH again expected to contest any vote in Jobs' favor, an attorney for the Apple executive, Howard Ellman, revealed before the council that Palo Alto-based angel investor Gordon Smythe of Propel Partners has recently drawn up an agreement with Jobs that would allow Smythe to dismantle the Jackling house and reassemble it on another piece of property.



















According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, the council agreed "that it's the best preservation-oriented solution to emerge" in the municipal fight that has occupied much of the decade. Under the proposed deal, Jobs would be responsible for the $604,000 cost of demolishing and removing the parts of the house that can be saved, the newspaper reported.



Still, Ellman reportedly warned that the agreement "could be derailed if Uphold Our Heritage decides to pursue further litigation to block the demolition." He said Jobs' contract with Smythe includes a clause that would allow the investor to renege his offer should the legal saga over the property continue.



"I don't want to get caught up in this," Smythe told the council. He said he wants the house because he's a fan of its architect, but added that he's had little success finding a piece of land to reassemble the structure. While he proceeds with his search for a space to re-locate the house, he'd be responsible for storing the parts at his own expense.



"I don't think a house like this deserves to be thrown just anywhere," Smythe said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 96
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I'm really glad that Steve Jobs overcame his illness. Can't we give him some privacy now though and concentrate our attentions on Apple?
  • Reply 2 of 96
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:

    which he described as "one of the biggest abominations of a house" that he'd ever seen.



    Yet he lived in it for 10 years!

    Typically Jobsian.
  • Reply 3 of 96
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    This house was poorly designed and poorly built It is ridiculous to call this kind of construction "historical"... built out of cheap materials. Anybody interested in antique should take a trip to Rome, Florence, Vienna, etc, and see even the private structures that were built to last centuries. These kind of organizations are nothing but misguided individual bent of infringing on people's right to property.
  • Reply 4 of 96
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Standing is his was have been preservationists



    Isn't that always the case?!





    Quote:

    For his part, Jobs offered many years ago to give the home away to anyone who was willing to relocate and restore it... ...an attorney for the Apple executive, Howard Ellman, revealed before the council that Palo Alto-based angel investor Gordon Smythe of Propel Partners has recently drawn up an agreement with Jobs that would allow Smythe to dismantle the Jackling house and reassemble it on another piece of property.



    Seems fair all around.





    Quote:

    Still, Ellman reportedly warned that the agreement "could be derailed if Uphold Our Heritage decides to pursue further litigation to block the demolition." He said Jobs' contract with Smythe includes a clause that would allow the investor to renege his offer should the legal saga over the property continue.



    What to you want to bet that there will still be a fight and cause the deal to collapse and result in the entire house to be destroyed.
  • Reply 5 of 96
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    This house was poorly designed and poorly built It is ridiculous to call this kind of construction "historical"... built out of cheap materials. Anybody interested in antique should take a trip to Rome, Florence, Vienna, etc, and see even the private structures that were built to last centuries. These kind of organizations are nothing but misguided individual bent of infringing on people's right to property.



    That kind of thinking demolished one of the greatest structures ever built in the US - Penn Station in NYC and gave us the hiddeous Madison Square Garden. Other great building were torn down for silmilar thinking. Maybe those materials were used because of the earthquake factor in California.
  • Reply 6 of 96
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    No wonder he doesn't want to live in there anymore. Looks like something out of a horror film!
  • Reply 7 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Yet he lived in it for 10 years!

    Typically Jobs.



    Then he has enough experience in the house to call it that. Just because you buy something to live in, doesn't mean you have to like it, I hated the house I rented for 8 years too.
  • Reply 8 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    That kind of thinking demolished one of the greatest structures ever built in the US - Penn Station in NYC and gave us the hiddeous Madison Square Garden. Other great building worn torn down for silmilar thinking. Maybe those materials were used because of the earthquake factor in California.





    Even worse was the demolition of the Larkin Building in Buffalo, designed by FLLW.
  • Reply 9 of 96
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    Then he has enough experience in the house to call it that. Just because you buy something to live in, doesn't mean you have to like it, I hated the house I rented for 8 years too.



    Yeah right. And that's why he let it deteriorate too, I suppose.
  • Reply 10 of 96
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    This house was poorly designed and poorly built It is ridiculous to call this kind of construction "historical"... built out of cheap materials. Anybody interested in antique should take a trip to Rome, Florence, Vienna, etc, and see even the private structures that were built to last centuries. These kind of organizations are nothing but misguided individual bent of infringing on people's right to property.



    What is really ridiculous is people who have absolutely zero knowledge of a subject to pretend expertise.



    Anyway, here we go again. Sigh.
  • Reply 11 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Yeah right. And that's why he let it deteriorate too, I suppose.



    Yeah, it makes so much sense to upkeep property you have every intention to tear down.



    At least they've finally found someone willing to actually step up and move it, and not another half hearted attempt as we've seen in the past.
  • Reply 12 of 96
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,433member
    There are many fine examples of G.W. Smith's work in Santa Barbara. Unlike F.L. Wright, not everything he designed is significant. The house in question is not a good example of Smith's work. Aesthetically one can clearly see that it is a clunky, clumsy, and awkward example of Spanish Colonial revival architecture. It may not be Smith's fault, as sometimes rich, powerful, and willful clients will overrule a designer and make changes that destroy the integrity of a design. Some designers (like Wright) would say screw you, take it or leave it--it's my design not yours. Others will take the money and allow their designs to be compromised and messed up by rich folks who think their business success makes them experts in everything.



    Unlike a previous poster, I don't see this as a property rights issue. If this was a great Frank Lloyd Wright national treasure like Falling Water, and some guy wanted to level it to build a tacky bourgeois McMansion, I'd say his property rights be damned. Some things ARE more important than property rights--they aren't absolute.
  • Reply 13 of 96
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    At least they've finally found someone willing to actually step up and move it, and not another half hearted attempt as we've seen in the past.



    He found somebody to take delivery of the pieces of the house, anyway. Who knows if the guy really plans on re-assembling it, he might just be some guy Jobs paid to grease the wheels of demolition.
  • Reply 14 of 96
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    Yeah, it makes so much sense to upkeep property you have every intention to tear down.



    At least they've finally found someone willing to actually step up and move it, and not another half hearted attempt as we've seen in the past.



    The location must be phenomenal then or have some kind of psychological/sentimental hold on him . This is a man who surely could build "the house of his dreams" anywhere else he desired.
  • Reply 15 of 96
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    The location must be phenomenal then or have some kind of psychological/sentimental hold on him . This is a man who surely could build "the house of his dreams" anywhere else he desired.



    He is friends with Larry Ellison, and it is pretty close to his house.
  • Reply 16 of 96
    breezebreeze Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    The location must be phenomenal then or have some kind of psychological/sentimental hold on him . This is a man who surely could build "the house of his dreams" anywhere else he desired.



    I'd love the organ
  • Reply 17 of 96
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    There are many fine examples of G.W. Smith's work in Santa Barbara. Unlike F.L. Wright, not everything he designed is significant. The house in question is not a good example of Smith's work. Aesthetically one can clearly see that it is a clunky, clumsy, and awkward example of Spanish Colonial revival architecture.



    The house was determined by a professional to be significant. If this had not occurred, then the saga which followed would not have occurred.



    Why do people want to continue to argue over facts which are NOT in dispute?
  • Reply 18 of 96
    tjstjs Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by breeze View Post


    I'd love the organ



    That's what she said.



    Sorry... just couldn't pass that one up!
  • Reply 19 of 96
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    .



    Why do people want to continue to argue over facts which are NOT in dispute?



    Dude, you do know what you're dealing with on here for the most part- don't you?
  • Reply 20 of 96
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Standing is his was have been preservationists



    uh huh.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Under the proposed deal, Jobs would be responsible for the $604,000 cost of demolishing and removing the parts of the house that can be saved, the newspaper reported.



    so they're demolishing and removing the parts that *can* be saved?



    do you guys even proof-read these things after expelling them?



    or why not provide a link to the siliconvalley.com article, since that's where much of your verbiage comes from? http://www.siliconvalley.com/news/ci_12678026



    back to your crayons, kiddies.
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