Compromise reached over Jobs' mansion

An investor offers to move the Apple CEO's dilapidated house to a different location. In the past, historic preservationists have been outspoken about a plan to tear down the building.

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg

It appears Steve Jobs is poised to get his way over the house he has been trying to tear down.

The 1925 mansion located in Woodside, Calif., has sat in disrepair for years, and the Apple CEO has tried to get permission to knock down the structure and build a new home. Though historic preservationists have been outspoken about the plan to destroy the 14-bedroom home, the Woodside Town Council voted last month to allow Jobs to apply for a demolition permit.

Jobs Woodside mansion
Steve Jobs' 1925 mansion in Woodside, Calif. Jennifer Guevin/CNET (Created with Microsoft Virtual Earth)

The latest reports reveal that a compromise has been struck. An investor from Palo Alto, Calif., Gordon Smythe, has offered to take the structure off Jobs' hands, and off the property. Smythe plans to disassemble and move the house to a new location. As part of the deal, Jobs would pay $600,000 for photographing, disassembling, and reconstructing the building elsewhere. The pact needs the permission of the Woodside Town Council, and will be discussed at a meeting Tuesday.

For his part, Smythe wants the house because he's a fan of George Washington Smith, the man who built it. Smythe has five years to find a new plot on which to reassemble the mansion. If he can't locate one, Woodside has first claim to some of the historic pieces of the house, which is reported to include things like the tiling and pipe organ.

This story was corrected at 3:45 p.m. PDT to correct the date when the mansion was built.