Jobs Trying to Demolish Woodside House Again

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be preparing to lock horns with preservationists over his house in Woodside, California, again now that he has requested a new demolition permit for the property. The preservationist group Uphold Our Heritage has already successfully sued once to stop the demolition of the property, commonly called the Jackling House, and could potentially attempt to block the tear down again.

The organization successfully stopped the demolition in 2006 after claiming Mr. Jobs and the town of Woodside failed to produce documentation that showed the house would be more expensive to preserve than to replace. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the new demolition filing shows it would cost over US$13 million to renovate the property, and $8.2 million to build a new house.

Mr. Jobs wants to clear out the mansion so he can build a smaller house on the property.

Preservationists are hoping to save the house for its historic value. The house was originally built in 1925 for Daniel Jackling who made his fortune in copper mining. Mr. Jobs lived in the 17,250 square foot house in the 1980s, and then later used it as a rental property. It has been vacant for about ten years.

According to the filing, Mr. Jobs hasn't been able to find anyone interested in moving and restoring the house. Uphold Our Heritage, however, is claiming that no recent efforts have been made to find a buyer.

The Woodside town council will review the demolition permit on April 28.

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If there are no heirs to Jackling willing to step up and save it, and the Foundation doesn’t seem willing to, let the man tear down the house. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it has real significant value. They’d be better off spending their time helping to restore and preserve so much of what was lost across the Gulf Coast through four hurricanes rather than an abandoned 84 year old house nobody seems to want.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I would just like it noted here that in the 2085, when legendary blog comment contributor Bosco has become nothing but ash, I sure hope that preservationists will not seek to what a future owner might do with my condo. Preservation would be contrary to everything I am about, as I’m in the midst of remodeling it again.

Jobs should just drop a lit cigar on the living room floor and then call the preservationists over for a friendly campfire.


I’m all for preserving historical buildings. I support the idea of protecting our shared heritage, architectural and otherwise, but sometimes there’s a need for a reality check. Jobs doesn’t want the house. None of the people that want it preserved are willing to pay for it’s preservation or buy it off of him. Their web site has a link to donate but only to offset legal fees.

At some point everyone needs to step back and recognize that the person who OWNS the house should have final say on what happens to the house. Come up with the money to buy the property or go home. Put up or shut up.


All good comments here.  I don’t see anybody defending the preservationists that want to block Mr. Jobs doing what he wants to his own property.  They want to prevent the tear down, but they haven’t done a thing to try to come up with the money to buy the building and move it out of there.

They make it sound like he just wants to tear it down for the sake of distroying it.  All things have a lifespan, and some people just have to let it go and rely on photos and memories of things they once loved.

Brian B

Uphold Our Heritage could get Steve to foot the bill on some professional photos documenting the property & to build a smaller exhibit type structure that re-use key elements of the house (and where the photos would be on exhibit). The structure would be located closer to the central part of the town where they can remember it how they will.

Steve can then build his house on his property and in another 80 years the town can fight to keep his house from being demolished.

Folks, architecture is not meant to last forever. Document it, archive it, keep its legend and history alive in books and stories and move on.


It is so easy to stand on principles when it costs nothing. All too many historical societies are all about the principles of preserving historical buildings, but do nothing to address the costs of doing so.

I worked at a business one time that had the misfortune to be located in an historical building. The owner desired to put up some awnings on the south, street-facing side of the building to cut down the afternoon heat from the sun (it even got hot in winter when the sun was out).  The local hysterical (I mean historical) society would not let anything be added to the building. My boss figured the lack of shade cost him an extra $200/mo. in electricity to handle the heat.  Did the hysterical society care? Not one whit.

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