April 27, 2009

ジョブズが最も忌み嫌うジャックリング邸:Steve Jobs Wants Jackling House Demolished

Bathroom in Jackling House © Scott Haefner (via)

“one of the biggest abominations of a house I’ve ever seen” - Steve Jobs on Jackling House

Steve Jobs bought this old 14-bedroom "Jackling House" in early 1980s and lived there for a decade before renting it out.  It stayed vacant for another decade, and Jobs decided to build a new home and asked the town for permission to demolish it in 2001. They fulfilled his request, but local preservationists formed a group called "Uphold Our Heritage" and sued both the town council and Jobs, successfully upholding the decision.

Having failed to find someone who is willing to move the structure and preserve (remember, it's 17,250-square-foot house), Jobs is once again trying to pursuade them by stating building new 6,000-square-foot house would cost less ($8.2 million) compared to renovating the old mansion ($13.3 million), and the application will be reviewed tomorrow. (More on Mercury News).

In relation to this news, I saw the mansion's recent photographies on Apple 2.0 (More here).   The mansion looks really spooky.  I can't believe this is where Chelsea stayed and Mr. and Mrs. Clinton visited for dinner. Is this just a setup photography?  Maybe a pinch of dust here and there?  No?

In fact, this sort of preservation vs. demolition conflict is quite commonplace here.  Google co-founder and soon-to-be-dad Larry Page recently stirred similar criticisms when pursuing permission to demolish his "historic" Palo Alto home to build a new eco-friendly mansion only a block away from Jobs' home.

It affects average citizens as well. The other day, my neighbor told me that a lady she knows bought a house in Los Altos without knowing it's a "historic" landmark.  Being unable to rebuild a new house nor to resell it (other home buyers know better), she felt "trapped" in the old, outdated, collapsing home and "that stress caused her to be diagnosed with cancer."  At least, that's how she puts two stories together.

If it were in a commercial area, there would be an alternative path to take. Tokyo's state-owned historic mansion, Ogasawata-tei built in 1927, for example, was beautifully rennovated and now serves the community as a modern party, wedding and dining facility.  Huge mansion Jobs once lived and hated?  I bet tourists flock to see that place!

Why in the first place they put "historic building" for sale?  If it serves the entire community that much, let the government buy it.

Is that a bird nest? Pipe Organ in Jackling House
雨漏りで荒れ放題のパイプオルガン。左のは鳥の巣か? © Scott Haefner (via)



ジョブズは10年間住んでからパロアルトの小さな家に越し、ここは人に貸していた。が、空き家の状態が10年続き、2001年、建て替えのため取り壊し許可を町に申請した。いったんは許可が下りたのだが、歴史建造物保存運動の市民団体「Uphold Our Heritage」が議会と氏を訴え、許可撤回となり今に至る。



それにしてもすさまじい荒れようだ。上の写真は、このニュースの関連でApple 2.0に掲載されていた建物内部の近影だが、とてもチェルシーさんを泊め、クリントン夫妻を夕食に招いた家とは思えない。カメラマンのサイトにもっと写真があるけども、パイプオルガンなんて鍵盤もパイプもガタガタ。撮影用にゴミでも散らしたんじゃないの? と疑いたくなるほどひどい。




そもそもいつも不思議なんだけど、そこまで社会のためになる建造物なら、なぜ一般市民なんかに売るんだろう? 国や自治体が買うべきではないの?? 


[Apple 2.0, Mercury News]


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