Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computer Inc., lost his bid to demolish a 17,000-square-foot mansion in Woodside, Calif., that preservationists call a historical treasure.
A San Mateo County Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled that the town improperly granted Jobs a demolition permit last year for "The Jackling House," which was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style for Utah Copper Co. magnate Daniel Jackling.
Jobs bought the house in 1984 but hasn't lived there for a decade, saying he wants to tear it down and build a new, smaller unit that would be more appropriate for his family. They now live in Palo Alto.
Preservationists cried foul and said the house should be protected. A group calling itself Uphold Our Heritage sued the city to stop the demolition.
Woodside officials said they were torn about the decision but couldn't force Jobs to fix the house, which had been vandalized and developed dry rot. Jobs had covered most of the windows with plywood.
Jobs' lawyer, Howard Ellman, said he will likely appeal the judge's decision.