For a few years, the city of Los Altos has been considering adding Steve Jobs' childhood home to their historic resources inventory, as the first Apple Computers were built in the now famous garage. This fall the Los Altos Historical Commission will finally vote on the listing, which would add the property to its inventory but not make it a full-on landmark. The house, which was used for filming the Jobs biopic, is still owned by Steve's sister and their stepmother lives there, but the inventory listing doesn't require owner approval. Most landmarks in the city are listed for their architectural value, but the Jobs house is a pretty typical suburban ranch house, making its listing a bit more unique (but not unheard of - the garage where HP was created in Palo Alto in 1938 is a State Landmark). While the Los Altos house is the site of Apple's creation, some are now wondering if an earlier childhood home in Mountain View was more of an aesthetic influence on Jobs and also worthy of historic status.
According to the Eichler Network's CA Modernist blog, the Mountain View Eichler-like home was "one of the earliest and most direct influences on his sense of aesthetics and industrial design." Jobs appreciated the clean, simple lines of Eichler houses and how they brought inexpensive sleek design to the masses (sound familiar?). The influence on Jobs would have to be well-documented and researched, as was done in Los Altos - if the first Apple Computers hadn't been built in that garage, the fact that Steve Jobs grew up there wouldn't be enough to make it historic. What say you readers, do these childhood homes seem worthy of some kind of historic designation?
· Should Another Steve Jobs House Get Historical Designation, Too? [Eichler Network]
· Steve Jobs' Los Altos childhood home eyed for historic preservation [Mercury News]
· Steve Jobs' sister weighs in on effort to preserve Apple co-founder's childhood home in Los Altos [Mercury News]
· Birthplace of Silicon Valley [OHP]