Search This Blog

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Apple demolishes old HP site in Silicon Valley to build 'spaceship' headquarters

Apr. 1989 site map faxed from Hewlett-Packard Cupertino site to visitors

PHOTO: FAX copy of an April, 1989 site map, routinely given to visitors, of the old Hewlett-Packard Cupertino, California buildings, all of which were recently demolished to make way for the new "spaceship" headquarters building being built for Apple Computer.

Apple Computer's 'spaceship' headquarters to be built on old HP Cupertino site

PGOTO: An architectural rendering of the new Apple Computer "spaceship" building that is currently being built in Silicon Valley on the old Hewlett-Packard Cupertino, California site. Apple Founder Steve Jobs presented detailed plans for Apple's new headquarters building to the Cupertino City Council on June 7, 2011 and then, shortly after its approval for construction, on October 15, 2013, demolition workers started tearing down all of the buildings on the old HP Cupertino site while Steve Jobs was still alive. (See "Apple Campus 2" accessed Feb. 5, 2016)

MAP: Embedded Google map of 19111 Pruneridge Avenue Cupertino, CA 95014, which is the street address for the new Apple headquarters building being built on the old Hewlett-Packard Cupertino site. When HP buildings occupied the site, the City of Cupertino and the U.S. Post office had assigned several different street addresses to the site, but ironically the street address being used by Apple today is the same address used in 1986 by the HP Commercial Systems Division that designed and built computers in an era when Apple was still a small company aspiring to be like HP. The Cupertino site was also where HP built its famous handheld calculators and handheld computers before moving the division to a newly built Corvallis, Oregon site in 1975. Shortly before this move, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak had worked as a technician for Hewlett-Packard where he became inspired by an HP desktop computer to leave HP and build the first Apple Computer. (See previous posts Woz on net neutrality and Apple watch apes 1977 Hewlett-Packard marketing strategy (3/26/15) and Apple watch apes 1970's HP watch (9/26/14))

Corvallis land use politics had become heated during the post-World War II building boom. The battle between citizens for "no-growth," and citizens who wanted planned growth, hit a boiling point when Hewlett-Packard built a new site in Corvallis to design and build handheld calculators and computers in 1975. The local newspaper, the "Corvallis Gazette-Times," covered this controversy and it led to major revisions of the City of Corvallis's land use plans and building codes. Prior to these legally enacted changes in City policy, land developers and home builders were typically allowed to do what they wanted and they often profited by taking shortcuts and taxpayers got stuck paying to fix it. Entire neighborhoods were built without proper plans for the necessary city streets and city services needed to make things work right for the entire city. In my opinion, these changes have successfully kept Corvallis a nice place to live, while also permitting new building to take place in an orderly and safe manner that is fully paid for by the developers instead of the taxpayers. It is a good counterexample to the free-market Republicans who gripe about the "nanny government" taking away their freedom to build what they want to make a profit.

A recent TV news story about Apple's new building prompted me to write the following letter to the editor of the professional "Corvallis Gazette-Times" newspaper in Corvallis, Oregon, which originally covered the news story of Corvallis citizen's concerns about Hewlett-Packard building their new site in 1975:

Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed the similarity of buildings on the Corvallis campus of Hewlett-Packard to the buildings being demolished to make way for the new "spaceship" being built for Apple Computer in Cupertino, California, which was recently shown on a Eugene TV newscast.

The similarity of these buildings is not a coincidence because HP handheld calculators and computers were designed and built in one of these Cupertino buildings before the division was moved to a new HP Corvallis site in 1975.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak famously worked in one of these Cupertino buildings for HP as a technician, but quit because he lacked an expected engineering degree.

Similarly, Steve Jobs idolized company founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, and worked diligently for decades to surpass HP, which is why I am sure Jobs, before he died, literally relished demolishing HP Cupertino buildings for Apple's new headquarters.

I built the world's first smartphone in 1982 using an HP handheld computer and the prototype cell phone technology from Bell Labs and Motorola, but after HP cancelled my project I showed it to Steve Jobs at a conference where I could tell he understood its significance, unlike nearly everyone else.

I am sure that if Bill and Dave were still alive today, their reaction to Steve Job's new monument would be that such extravagance is the sign of a company flowering just before it dies.

I ask, is Corvallis ready for a similar spaceship landing on the HP Corvallis site?
(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, unpublished letter to editor of Gazette-Times, Corvallis, Oregon)

See the following links:

  • City of Cupertino City Hall web page "Apple Campus 2" accessed Feb. 5, 2016 - "Most of the 175 acre area is located on the former Hewlett Packard (HP) campus and is bounded by I-280 to the south, Wolfe Road to the west, Homestead Road to the north and North Tantau Avenue to the east."
  • Matt Wilson, "Cupertino: Pruneridge Avenue nears the end of the road with permanent closure," posted Mar. 26, 2014 - "Portions of Pruneridge Avenue abutting the future home of Apple Campus 2 are expected to remain open through the end of March, but could be closed permanently in the coming weeks."
  • "Apple Campus," accessed Feb. 5, 2016 (See subsection "Apple Campus 2") - "In April 2006, Steve Jobs announced to the city council of Cupertino that Apple had acquired nine contiguous properties to build a second campus. . . On June 7, 2011, Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs presented to Cupertino City Council details of the architectural design of the new buildings and their environs. The new campus, on a site now totaling 175 acres . . .This proved to be Jobs' last public appearance before his death in October 2011. . . On October 15, 2013, Cupertino City Council unanimously approved Apple's plans for the new campus. . . Shortly thereafter, demolition work began to prepare the site for the new construction . . . started in 2014, it is expected to be open in late 2016 or early 2017"