Mon07282014

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Jobs childhood home receives historic listing


Town Crier File Photo
After a two-year review process, the Los Altos Historical Commision officially gave Steve Jobs’ childhood home a place on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory.

The childhood home of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is now officially a piece of Los Altos history.

The Los Altos Historical Commission’s two-year review of the property at 2066 Crist Drive concluded in a matter of minutes last week with a unanimous vote to designate the home a historic resource and list it on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory. The vote came after the commission held a public review of its findings in late September.

“It’s just taken a long time and effort in the making,” Commissioner Kristin Baker said prior to the vote. “I’m glad we’re here today.”

According to the report, the Crist Drive house – currently occupied by Jobs’ stepmother and listed under the ownership of the Jobs Trust – is widely considered the birthplace of Apple Inc. Among other things, Jobs, who died in October 2011, and Steve Wozniak assembled the company’s first 50 Apple I computers in the ranch-style home, built circa the 1950s. Wozniak and Jobs met while attending Homestead High School.

Commission Chairman Frank Bishop credited his colleagues for their work in completing the two-year project, noting that its historical information rivaled publications that chronicled the storied history of Jobs’ work and Apple computers. The commission report’s cited sources include county and state records, the Stanford University Library’s Department of Special Collections and the authorized “Steve Jobs” biography by Walter Isaacson.

“The documentation looks very complete,” he said with a grin.

The designation, according to Los Altos Senior planner Zach Dahl, adds an extra level of review by the Historical Commission should the Jobs family seek future exterior modifications to the home. Interior modifications are not subject to that regulation, he noted.

In addition to its Historic Resources listing, a staff report on the property noted that it “does appear eligible for designation as a Los Altos Historic Landmark and potentially eligible for listing on the California Register of Historical Resources and the National Register of Historic Places.” However, pursuing such designations would require additional documentation and support from the property’s owner. Listing the home as a Historic Resource does not require the homeowner’s prior approval.

As previously reported in the Town Crier, Dahl told the commission during its September review of the report that Jobs’ sister, Patricia Jobs, contacted him to get involved in the matter after learning of its work to designate the home a landmark. At last week’s meeting, however, Dahl told the commission that he has remained in contact with Patricia Jobs since and worked with her to refine the report but “did not get any comments back” from her prior to the commission’s final vote.

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