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back to article Town OKs Jobsian tear-down

After an eight-year legal wrangle, Steve Jobs can finally tear down the crumbling mansion he purchased 25 years ago. Maybe. The town council of the affluent Silicon Valley outpost of woodsy Woodside voted 6-1 on Tuesday to grant Jobs the permit needed to tear down his sprawling 14-bedroom, 17,250-square-foot Spanish colonial …

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Stop

It doesn't look that bad

Looking at the pictures it doesn't look all that bad.

Rain damaged pipe organ, some plaster come down, needs some paint.

Crikey I'm sure something could be done for the place for less that 18 million.

Take the organ to the local dump or flog it on EBay.

Get in some plasterers and painters from Poland - they'll do a good job and for a modest price.

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hj
Jobs Horns

too many movies??

"The custom-made Aeolian pipe organ drew a steady stream of visiting organists, she said. "

Why do i vision Jobs now buuhahaha-ing behind the organ?

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Anonymous Coward

6000 sq ft "eco mansion"?

How the hell can a 6000 sq ft, multi-million house be eco-friendly?

If he really wants to be eco-friendly then build something smaller and lower cost.

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Flame

Maybe...

they are just waiting around until the problem goes away on it own...

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The thing is a wreck.

It was built before building codes were considered important, it has nothing resembling insulation or foundation, the current electrical system is entirely inadequate (knob and tube anyone?), there is dry-rot & soggy plaster everywhere, fresh & black water systems are augmented by greywater systems that flow into the grounds, and on top of all that the thing is bloody ugly.

Basically, it is a dump. It needs to be torn down & replaced with something more modern.

"Preservation" groups need to shut the fuck up ... it's a private residence, and the owner will never give tours, even if he decides to restore it ... and nobody else wants it enough to buy it. On top of all that, the neighbors would never allow it to become a museum.

I'm not a Jobs fanboy, but I agree with him on this one. Get rid of it. It would be an eyesore, if you could see it from anywhere important (which you can't).

Side note: I actually tried to purchase the property around the time Steve did.

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Jobs Horns

Damage?

I see some cosmetic repair and general decoration.

Sounds like Mr Jobs's architect is as creative as his design team.

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Pictures are impressive.

I'me sure I've seen that bedroom in The Blair Witch Project and wasn't "Foyer, with refrigerator" the sequel to "Girl, Interrupted"?

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Jobs Horns

$18 Mil too much for jobs?

Oh, come on Steve, surely you can afford the $18 mil for the restoration? Why did U buy the house in the first place if you want to tear it down?

It's much older than most of us and it deserves to be preserved in the future!

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Jobs Horns

And I quote...

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste; they have absolutely no taste."

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Joke

Whoa, wait a minute

Steve Jobs is contending an issue on PRICE?! STEVE JOBS? $5M is about the cost of one of his company's laptops.

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American History

I thought America was forward thinking and didn't try to hang on to the past like its former master Great Britain?

I say tear it down. He can sell bits off to antique dealers etc.

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He's going to tear down...

... something beautiful and original, and replace it with something modern and anodyne.

How very American.

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Joke

What I really want to know is...

Were the protestors lying in the mud in front of the bulldozers?

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Anonymous Coward

Lots of expert here

In the years of reading this once fine online publication, I have noticed something that is peculiar to all "IT" websites; the majority of commentards know dick. I've given itthe name "Comic Book Guy Syndrome" - ill-informed bigheads that believe their actions and views are correct and all that matter, and that success is something to be attacked a scorned. More often that not these moron's have the chutzpa to suggest that they have better solutions and that they a superior to the people that conceived the idiocy in the first place, but forget that they just a support technician; not really IT, is it?

Examples:

Russell said; "... something beautiful and original, and replace it with something modern and anodyne.

How very American."

The existing building has *NO DISCERNIBLE ARCHITECTURAL MERIT* nor any real historical importance. Any of the contents that could be viewed as important is salvagable. The building itself is an ugly pastiche of 18th century style - *catagorically* unoriginal, especially when you consider it was built in arguably architectures most exciting period since the gothic revival.

Toastan Buttar said: " And I quote... “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste; they have absolutely no taste."" Your point? Are you saying what is there is tasteful? IT'S THE 20's EQUIVALENT OF CHINTZ, MAN!!!

Oh, come on Steve, surely you can afford the $18 mil for the restoration? Why did U buy the house in the first place if you want to tear it down?

It's much older than most of us and it deserves to be preserved in the future!

AC Thursday 14th May 2009 07:47 GMT said: "Oh, come on Steve, surely you can afford the $18 mil for the restoration? Why did U buy the house in the first place if you want to tear it down?

It's much older than most of us and it deserves to be preserved in the future!" Perhaps, and this I admit is wild thinking here, HE BOUTH THE HOUSE FOR THE LAND IT WAS ON! There, that's wasn't too hard to understand, was it? Just because a building is old, it doesn't mean it should be "preserved for future generations". That's bollocks - perhaps Windows 1.0 - 95 should still be supported for future generation - it's the same premise.

AC Thursday 14th May 2009 02:05 GMT said "How the hell can a 6000 sq ft, multi-million house be eco-friendly? If he really wants to be eco-friendly then build something smaller and lower cost." What, exactly, has cost got to do with an object being environmentally friendly?

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Re: Lots of expert here

@Mac Phreak

Mac ... whilst I agree with a lot of what you said, your last point ... and I quote:

"What, exactly, has cost got to do with an object being environmentally friendly?"

The original poster had a valid point, a 6000sq ft house, is going to be less environmentally friendly than a 200sq ft house. It wasn't about the cost.

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Re: Lots of expert here

I agree with the sentiment. There seems to be a lot of preservation for the sake of preservation going on these days and the line does need to be drawn. Certainly this case seems more likely to have been dragged out by a bunch of bored local retirees. Just want to raise a couple of points though:

"Perhaps, and this I admit is wild thinking here, HE BOUTH THE HOUSE FOR THE LAND IT WAS ON!"

According to the article he purchased it 25 years ago but first announced his intention to use the land rather than the house in 2001. Even ignoring that, if his intention all along was to use the land then it still falls on him to ensure prior to his purchase that he would be able to do so. It is not unreasonable to expect preservation issues might have come into play at some point.

"Just because a building is old, it doesn't mean it should be "preserved for future generations". That's bollocks - perhaps Windows 1.0 - 95 should still be supported for future generation - it's the same premise."

It's not quite the same premise. Part of preservation is maintenance to keep it in the original state (which would cover restoration). Windows 95 is indeed preserved in the original state. Future support would imply modernising the software rather than just restorative work.

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Coat

Is the new house...

...going to be built out of a solid block of alumnium?

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Anonymous Coward

@Mac Phreak

Huzzah!

Had a quick shufti - the house was only built in the 20s and it's little more than an ugly ego-trip for the person that originally commissioned it.

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I thought America was forward thinking and didn't try to hang on to the past like its former master Great Britain?

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To be fair - 1920s barely qualifies as history in Britain; in the town in which I grew up the oldest church was late 11th century and there were at least 2 pubs that were 15th century. I seriously doubt that, on the merits of the building alone, it would still be standing in the UK. Or it would have been converted to flats. Certainly no-one would be making a fuss about it.

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How the hell can a 6000 sq ft, multi-million house be eco-friendly?

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A "6000 sq ft, multi-million house" might not be THE most eco-friendly building, but it'll be more eco-friendly than the current building would be if it were restored to it's original state - granted it could be converted and modernised but that would hardly be a "restoration".

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@AC

"How the hell can a 6000 sq ft, multi-million house be eco-friendly?"

You can chain Al Gore in the dungeon so he isn't flying carbon-belching airplanes all over the world complaining about industrialization.

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Anonymous Coward

go East young man

My neighborhood would welcome somebody who'd tear down a monstrosity and build something smaller. And it's handy to shopping, recreation, and the US Capitol. To be sure, the McMansions I have in mind are post-2000.

The Britons among the readership should know that zoning wars are among the favorite preoccupations of the US upper middle classes. Except for the big name, and the unusual decision to build something smaller, this story happens every day everywhere in America that a bank will still write a mortgage.

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Happy

Looks like ...

Baby Jane's house in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

I like it. Its cool, I used to live in a converted 6000 sq ft Victorian shoe factory, That was cool, too. All that steampunk industrial cast iron.

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@Richard

Hats off to you sir. Sitting here eating lunch and just sprayed food all over the screen.

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Boffin

Preservation, schmeservation

It's a myth that the Brits only preserve their older buildings. We have *loads* of those, so we tend to preserve only those with unique elements or important historical ties. (For example, there's no shortage of Georgian and Victorian-era housing.)

1920s is still "old" for a Brit; like most cultures, we use living memory and lifespan as references for this concept. Plenty of buildings from the inter-war years have gained Listed preservation status. These are mostly one-off buildings of genuine architectural merit.

The difference between the Old and New Worlds is that we don't consider "old" to be remarkable or special in and of itself, any more than Americans gaze upon skyscrapers or air-conditioned homes with awe and wonder.

The rise of the preservation and heritage movements in the UK grew out of the destruction of the original Euston railway station in London and its replacement by the grotty little box which still stands there today (and is now being considered for demolition). This triggered the creation of preservation movements which were directly responsible for the survival of St. Pancras railway station in London, now refurbished and adapted as the terminus for the Eurostar services to mainland Europe.

My personal view is that anything proposed for formal preservation should be bought from its owner(s) for the price they paid for it. If nobody is willing to stump up the cash to do this, it's clear that the building isn't *that* well-loved, so let it go. We have the technology to record any building or relic for posterity should we need to demolish it, so we wouldn't be losing all trace of the structure forever.

With regard to Steve Jobs' problem: I agree with Jobs. It's an old, impractical building with little architectural value. It would be uneconomic to restore as few people would be willing to live in such a building today. (No decent insulation; no modern electrical system; far bigger than it needs to be for the smaller families we have today, and so on.) It's old, but old doesn't automatically imply *worth preserving*. Let it go.

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Pirate

Ghost Hunters - Season 6 Episode 1

I think Ghost Hunters should be given a rundown of the place. Its perfect for their show..

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