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Campaign to make former Apple boss Steve Jobs' childhood home historic landmark launched

From the garage of a Silicon Valley ranch-style home, Steve Jobs and Apple skyrocketed to success in the 1970s. Now, that famous single-storey house may become a protected property.

The Los Altos Historical Commission is to conduct a historic property evaluation meeting in the hopes of moving forward with a designation that would allow the house at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California to be preserved.

The house, valued by real-estate site Zillow at about $1.5 million (£935,500), was young Jobs' home, and it was in the attached garage that he and company co-founder Steve Wozniak built the first 50 Apple 1 computers. Apple later moved its operations to Cupertino, where the tech giant remains today.

"Steve Jobs is considered a genius who blended technology and creativity to invest and market a product which dramatically changed [six] industries — personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing," the property evaluation said.

Only two of the four California Register Criteria are met, according to the Historical Commission: the property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the cultural heritage of the US, and with the lives of people important to California or national history. On the other two points, though, the house's construction or design is not particular noteworthy, and the house is unlikely to yield information to the history of the area or state.

But that's enough for the group to move forward with their designation attempts, according to Los Altos Historical Commission Senior Planner Zach Dahl. The seven-person committee has been working on this project for two years, hoping to earn designation at the local level; future eligibility at the state or national level may be considered later.

"The goal is to get [the house] recognized and on the historic resources list," Dahl said. Once the structure is catalogued, it must go through more intense review for alteration or demolition; but this won't change the property owners' day-to-day use, he added.

Jobs' influence, which the Historical Commission said "is expected to be felt by multiple generations forthcoming," is likely the impetus behind turning the otherwise insignificant house into a historic landmark.

Moving forward, the group will make an effort to meet with the Jobs family, hold a public meeting to gather feedback, and expects a final verdict by early next year.

"It's an attribute to the community," Dahl said of the house, "and I think it's something the community can be proud of."