Steve Jobs’s Childhood Home Named ‘Historic Resource’

| Editorial

The Los Altos Historical Commission voted unanimously on Monday to designate the childhood home of Steve Jobs an "historic resource." The house, whose garage famously saw the birth of Apple Computer, Inc. (now Apple, Inc.), will now be preserved.

According to The San Jose Mercury News, the designation means that the house will be subject to another layer of reviews before renovations on the house could be performed. The current owner of the home is Steve Jobs's sister, Patricia Jobs, was not involved in the vote or decision-making process. She can, however, appeal the decision.

Steve Jobs Garage

2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, CA
Steve Jobs's Childhood Home (and its Garage)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The garage at the house is essentially part of the lore of Silicon Valley, the place where multibillion dollar companies are hatched in garages, basements, and living rooms. In the case of Steve Jobs's house, it was where the first Apple I computers were assembled by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and some of their friends, and the home was where Mr. Jobs dreamed of turning the company into a Big Deal™.

As outside Apple watchers, it's easy to understand why there's a movement to turn the home into an historic landmark. The story of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak is fascinating, and the story of Apple's emergence and the creation of true personal computers is inspiring.

The question I have, however, is what Steve Jobs would have thought about this. This step—naming the house an "historic resource"—was inevitable, but this was a man who fought for the right to tear down an historic mansion he bought called The Jackling Mansion.

The Jackling House

The Jackling House
Source: Wikimedia Commons

I can't help but think Mr. Jobs wouldn't have wanted his parents house idolized. Steve Jobs was ruthless in looking forward, not back, but you never know. He also had a very good understanding of his place in history.

The reality is that, like funerals, such things aren't for the people honored, but rather for the living. The living public has a legitimate interest in the little ranch house in Los Altos.

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4 Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

That really sucks for his sister. She could do a great public service to all of us by hiring the best 4th Amendment lawyers she can afford and preserving her ownership of the property.

But you know, Bryan, she would be a bigger hero than her own brother if she dumped 5 gallons on gasoline on the place, tossed a match on it, and told the local historical Nazis to get expletived.

iJack

Yeah, I find this kind of preservationist thinking just a tad too precious. It’s just another ticky-tacky (‘and they all look just the same’) suburban tract house, fer crissake. It would be very interesting to know just how far this “Historical Commission” has drifted from it’s original charter. Quite some distance, would be my bet.

ctopher

But an American dream occurred in that “ticky-tacky suburban tract house.” It has the power to inspire others who also live in “ticky-tacky suburban tract houses” that they too might achieve success in their “home”.

webjprgm

Right now it’s tacky and looks exactly like all the other homes in the area. (I grew up in Sunnyvale.) But in 50-100 years it will be more unique in appearance.

Have you toured a 100 year old farm house? A 150 year old one? It’s an interesting experience to compare the then and the now. (Or even looking at 1940-60s houses to a lesser extent.)  Preserving the Jobs house isn’t about now, it’s about remembering in the future and letting those generations feel they can touch ours.

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