Sunday, May 17, 2009

That old house

The Mercury News and Fortune have been covering Steve Jobs efforts to tear down the 1926 mansion on his Woodside property. Steve bought the 17,250 square foot Spanish colonial (and land) in 1984 — long before he got married — lived there briefly, but is now raising his kids in Palo Alto

Jobs got approval Tuesday to demolish the mansion. (Fortune reports that Jobs was too weak to sit through a many-hour meeting).

The Merc notes that the old mansion would cost $13.3 million to restore — $5 million more than building a newer, smaller, more energy efficient home.

Not surprisingly, the Merc gives lots of air time to demolition critics — who have done nothing to purchase an economic stake in the future of this private property, but seek to tell other people what they can do with their property.

What I found even more troubling, however, is that both the Merc and an earlier Fortune photo spread blatantly advertised how they trespassed on Jobs’ land in search of a “story.” I guess it’s long past time for Jobs to have to hire security guards to keep sightseers from wandering through the old house (and then suing him if they fall through a rotted floorboard).

Note to overseas readers: “This Old House” is an American TV show (and media empire) in which the celebrity remodeling team shows up to lovingly restore an aging home to the delight of the grateful homeowner.

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