Harry Kolb quoted in SFGate’s article: History haunts Jobs’ plans for mansion / Preservationists don’t want house moved

  • George-washington-smith-steve-jobs-home

Carolyne Zinko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Published 4:00 am, Sunday, October 17, 2004

Click here to read the complete article:

Harry Kolb is quoted in the SFGate article regarding the dispute over Steve Jobs’ plans to tear down his George Washington Smith designed house built in 1926 for copper baron Daniel C. Jackling in Woodside, California.


Harry Kolb, a Santa Barbara-area real estate agent, has specialized in sales of Smith-designed homes for 27 years and currently has five among his listings ranging from $5.5 million to $21 million.

Smith, he said, is “revered” for his neo-European designs and wanted the homes to appear upon construction as if they had been expanded over the generations. He used multiple roof lines and nonfunctioning chimneys and varied the iron work adorning windows. Inside, he designed corner fireplaces, tile floors that rose slightly higher in the center of the room and rooms twice as long as they were wide with coffers, beam work and painted medallions in the ceilings to create an intimate feel, Kolb said.

Smith also liked to surprise homeowners with steps going up or down into a room simply for artistic purposes and indoor-outdoor walkways that would force residents to go outside to get to their bedrooms or other rooms in the house.

Kolb considers the homes works of art but knows they are not suited to everyone.

“I can understand someone saying a house of the 1920s isn’t appropriate today. They didn’t have kitchen-living rooms, their closets were small — people have more than three changes of clothing today. On the other hand, it’s just as easy for somebody who really likes that type of architecture to point out all the things that are special and that you don’t want to lose.”