Steve Jobs's Childhood Home Named 'Historic Resource'

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.