Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)
Inside Steve Jobs' abandoned Jackling mansion (photos)Apple chief executive Steve Jobs stayed home last night to catch up on some much needed rest while his attorney made another go at convincing a local review board that he should be free to demolish a historic but abandoned mansion — seen in these rare photos — that has fallen into a state of disrepair.
Jobs has been petitioning for the right to raze the 14-room, 17,250-square-foot structure in California's Woodside woods for eight years so that he can erect a smaller, contemporary style home for his family.
The Jackling House, so it's called, was built back in 1925 for copper mining mogul Daniel Jackling. Preservationists have opposed Jobs' efforts, arguing that it represents one of the few remaining examples of a Spanish Colonial Revival style home and is therefore too historic to destroy. They also allege that Jobs, who reportedly lived in the house sometime between the 80's and 90's, intentionally let the house fall apart so that it would be easier to justify a case for tearing it down.
"I don't think he would be strong enough if we were here until 1 a.m., and I think there's a strong possibility of that," Jobs' attorney Howard Ellman told the Woodside Town Council on Tuesday, referring to the health issues that have forced the Apple co-founder into a temporary leave from his leadership role at the company through June.
Indeed, reports the Palo Alto Daily News, the review board was still hearing arguments at 10:30 in the evening from both preservationists like the Uphold Our Heritage organization, that has once overturned Jobs' permit to demolish the structure, as well as locals who side with his property rights.
As part of his latest effort to persuade the council on Jobs' behalf, Ellman presented a detailed cost analysis showing that it would take $13.3 million to restore the mansion, or more than $5 million more than it would cost Jobs to simply get rid of it and build a new one. An appeals board had previously suggested such a sum would be sufficient grounds for Jobs to move forward.
Still, preservationists and former residents maintained Tuesday that all resources to preserve the house haven't been exhausted. They're now proposing that Woodside commission an independent firm to draw up the costs of carefully dismantling the dilapidated structure so it can be relocated and then resurrected. A decision on the matter is expected at a later meeting.
A couple of years ago, photographer Jonathan Haeber stumbled upon the Jackling house to find its property gate ajar and the doors and broken windows to the house wide open. Below are a series of rare, and at times spooky, photos of the moldering mansion, which has now been abandoned for over a decade.
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