Jackling House

Coordinates: 37°24′59″N 122°15′30″W / 37.416502°N 122.258434°W / 37.416502; -122.258434
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Jackling House
c. 2007, with boards over its windows and doors
General information
Architectural styleSpanish Colonial Revival
Town or cityWoodside, California
CountryUnited States
Coordinates37°24′59″N 122°15′30″W / 37.416502°N 122.258434°W / 37.416502; -122.258434
Named forDaniel C. Jackling
DemolishedFebruary 2011
OwnerSteve Jobs (1984–2011)
Other dimensions17,250 square feet (1,603 m2)
Technical details
Floor count2
Grounds6 acres (2.4 ha)[1]
Other information
Number of rooms30[2]

The Jackling House was a mansion in Woodside, California, designed and built for copper mining magnate Daniel Cowan Jackling and his family by noted California architect George Washington Smith in 1925.[3] Though it was considered a historic home, it was demolished in 2011 by its last owner, Steve Jobs. Its demolition followed a protracted court battle during which Jobs stated his intentions to build a smaller, contemporary-styled home on the site, though he died before any plans could be realized.[4]


The Jackling House designer, George Washington Smith, was the foremost creator and proponent of the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style that became popular in the U.S. and remains so, especially in California and the Southwest. Based in Montecito, Smith helped create Santa Barbara's unified city planning and architectural aesthetic and many significant residences in the area in the 1920s.[5]

Daniel Jackling was a copper mining baron, and the estate represented his aesthetic values, wealth, and family needs. It contained a built in residence pipe organ, originally constructed by the Aeolian Company and later enlarged by George Kilgen and Sons. George Washington Smith integrated the 17,000 sq ft (1,600 m2) residence and landscaped gardens with a large traditional courtyard, open-air balconies, and many indoor-outdoor sightline and access connections. Details about the house and its contents when Jackling lived there, including the organ, are in his collected papers in the Stanford University Library.[6]

After Jackling's wife Virginia died in 1957, the home was sold in 1958 and its surrounding land – nearly 194 acres (79 ha) – was subdivided. The house had three other owners before its last one bought the property, which had a list price of $3.5 million, in 1984.[7]

Preservation issues[edit]


In 1984 Steve Jobs purchased the Jackling House and estate, and resided there for a decade. After that, he leased it out for several years until 2000 when he stopped maintaining the house, allowing exposure to the weather to degrade it. In 2004, Jobs received permission from the town of Woodside to demolish the house in order to build a smaller, contemporary styled one.[4]

Local preservationists created a new group, "Uphold Our Heritage" (UOH), dedicated to saving the historic residence. They sued the town and Jobs, claiming that both had ignored provisions of California law which prohibit cultural landmarks from being destroyed if there are reasonable, feasible ways to preserve them. They also contended that the initial environmental impact report did not demonstrate that preserving the house would cost more than replacing it. "In addition, the town failed to demonstrate that demolishing the mansion would provide an 'overriding benefit' to the public, as required by state law", the group's attorney Doug Carstens said.[3] "The issue before you is not to preserve and rehabilitate a work of marginal importance; it is to assure the protection and survival of a work of great significance", said the California Department of Parks and Recreation's State Historical Resources Commission chairperson Anthea Hartig, PhD.[8]

Interim decisions[edit]

In January 2006, Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner agreed with "Uphold Our Heritage" and held that Jobs could not tear the house down. Jobs appealed to the State Court of Appeals, and in January 2007, that Court unanimously confirmed the lower court ruling. Jobs' attorney asked for an appeal but in April 2007, the Supreme Court of California refused to hear it.

In 2008, Jobs submitted a renewed permit application with updated estimates. The Woodside Town Council granted the permit a year later, in May 2009,[9] with the condition that Jobs must allow the house to be disassembled and moved elsewhere.[10] In February 2010, Magalli and Jason Yoho offered to move the mansion to their five-acre lot in Woodside.[11][12] Magalli Yoho reported in March that the house resembled a Spanish Colonial Revival mansion she lived in as a child in Ica, Peru. She said, "This house is just a good house for our family."[3]

On March 8, 2010, Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner upheld the Woodside Town Council's 2009 decision that allowed Jobs to tear down his house. If an appeal was not filed before Jobs obtained a demolition permit, then demolition could proceed. The demolition permit process typically took "the better part of a couple of months", according to Woodside Town Manager Susan George.[13]

On April 29, 2010, "Uphold Our Heritage" appealed the March court decision. The appeal put an "automatic stay" on the issuance of demolition permits.[13] The group hoped that the house could be relocated and restored.[13]

Demolition and legacy[edit]

Later in 2010, Judge Weiner upheld the council's decision to allow the house to be demolished.

The pipe organ was removed in January 2011,[14][15] and the entire residence was demolished the next month.[4] Nothing was built on the site, and Jobs died later that year on October 5, 2011, of pancreatic cancer. Laurene Powell Jobs proposed a new building for the site in 2016.[16]

The Woodside History Museum has an exhibit of furniture, maps, photographs, etc. from the Jackling House.[17]

The town of Woodside collected 150 items from the home before it was destroyed. As of October 2018, the items were reportedly appraised at over $30,000. At a meeting that month, the town council approved a plan to offer the items – including a silver-plated teaspoon, a chandelier, wall sconces, door handles, a flagpole, and a 1920s thermostat and toilet – in sequence to the town first, and then to the owners of another Smith-designed home next door. After that, the items would be offered to the museum of the University of California, Santa Barbara, which has additional Smith designs nearby. Remaining items would then be made available to the public via silent auction before being "sent to salvage".[18][19]


  1. ^ Elmer-Dewitt, Philip (April 27, 2009). "Inside Steve Jobs' tear-down mansion". Fortune. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Steve Jobs patiently waits to tear down his 30-room Jackling House 'abomination'". Bloomberg. February 27, 2006. Retrieved November 6, 2018 – via Mac Daily News.
  3. ^ a b c Bernstein-Wax, Jessica (April 29, 2010). "Preservationists appeal court ruling letting Apple CEO Steve Jobs demolish mansion". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Lee, Henry K. (February 15, 2011). "Steve Jobs' historic Woodside mansion is torn down". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Herold, Ann. One Spanish Colonial Revival Architect Launched California Style." The Los Angeles Times. February 2, 2006. Archived August 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Guide to the Daniel C. (Daniel Cowan) Jackling Papers, 1911–1956 Stanford University Library, Special Collections
  7. ^ Wood, Barbara (October 7, 2011). "Former Jackling home focus of exhibit". The Almanac. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "Introduction". Friends of the Jackling House. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  9. ^ Bernstein-Wax, Jessica (May 13, 2009). "Woodside council will allow Steve Jobs to demolish historic mansion". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Boyce, Dave (June 24, 2009). "Council reaches agreement on Jackling house". Palo Alto Online. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Gullo, Karen (February 23, 2010). "Offer to Move Jobs Mansion Made by Couple in His Town". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Boyce, Dave (February 24, 2010). "Another lifeline for Woodside house owned by Steve Jobs". The Almanac. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c Bernstein-Wax, Jessica (March 12, 2010). "Judge upholds Woodside's decision to let Steve Jobs demolish mansion". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
  14. ^ "Salvaging the Jackling Residence Pipe Organ". Friends of the Jackling Organ. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
  15. ^ O'Brien, Chris (March 19, 2016). "Steve Jobs and the strange afterlife of the historic Woodside mansion he demolished". VentureBeat. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  16. ^ O'Brien, Chris; Novet, Joran (March 18, 2016). "Steve Jobs' widow is finally building the family's Silicon Valley dream home". VentureBeat. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  17. ^ Diaz, Jesus (February 17, 2011). "Photos: The Historic House Steve Jobs Demolished". Wired. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  18. ^ Sandoval, Greg (October 20, 2018). "Steve Jobs fanatics may be able to buy a toilet, thermostat and other random household objects that were part of the Apple founder's old Silicon Valley mansion". Business Insider. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  19. ^ Boyce, Dave (October 29, 2018). "Woodside: Council approves plan for Jackling house artifacts". The Almanac. Retrieved November 4, 2018.

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