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A family matter: Steve Jobs' sister seeks involvement in historical designation

NEWS SteveJobsHome filephoto
Town Crier File Photo
Patricia Jobs, the late Steve Jobs' sister, weighs in on the status of the family's home.

A preliminary historical evaluation of the late Steve Jobs’ childhood home at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos included an interesting twist last week.

According to Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl, Jobs’ sister, Patricia Jobs, contacted him after learning that the Historical Commission is considering listing the home on the city’s historic resources registry. Dahl told the Town Crier that Patricia Jobs reached out to him ahead of the commission’s Sept. 23 meeting, which included review of a historical report on the home, because she wanted to “learn more about it and get involved.” Attempts by the Town Crier to contact Jobs for comment were unsuccessful.

Dahl said the commission previously attempted to contact the family about the project but never received a response. He added that while a historical evaluation doesn’t necessarily require the consent of the homeowners, having the Apple Inc. co-founder’s sister aboard provides the commission with an additional resource during the process. The home, according to Dahl, is currently occupied by Steve Jobs’ stepmother and is listed under the ownership of the Jobs Trust.

“We did send letters to the house, but apparently they never reached (Patricia Jobs),” said Dahl, the commission’s liaison. “I think the primary goal here is to work with the property owner and get them onboard – that’s the best scenario.”

The home is currently being reviewed for historic designation because it is considered the birthplace of Apple. The commission’s report noted that Jobs, who died in October 2011, and Steve Wozniak assembled the first 50 Apple I computers in the home. Jobs and Wozniak became friends while attending Homestead High School.

“There’s talk that the computers were assembled in other parts of the home, but the garage has received most of the attention,” Dahl said.

The historical review of the single-story, ranch-style home took approximately two years to complete and relied on numerous sources, including the Stanford University Library’s Department of Special Collections, county and state records and Jobs’ authorized biography, “Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson.

Dahl said designating a home a historic resource essentially adds another level of review by the city – specifically by the Historical Commission – in the event a homeowner wishes to make exterior modifications or additions to the structure. In those cases, he added, the commission would offer a recommendation, not a final ruling, as plans for designated homes make their way through the city approval process. Dahl noted that interior remodeling is exempt from additional review.

Dahl added that the commission would likely issue a final ruling on the home’s potential designation at its October or November meeting. In the meantime, the commission is expected to conduct additional conversations with Patricia Jobs so that she can “fully understand the process, the city’s intent and what the ramifications (of historic resource designation) would be.”

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