Ever since the Mac was introduced in 1984, I’d been closely following Apple in the news. At the time, it was quite a big deal that Steve Jobs and the company had set up a cutting edge factory in Fremont to produce the Mac. It turns out that since demand was not as great as expected the factory ended up costing Apple a bunch of money. They ultimately abandoned the factory.
When I moved to Fremont in 1995 I always thought I’d try to find the factory but this dream was never realized. Until yesterday.
As it turns out, that very factory has been in the news lately. Seems that Fremont’s Vice-Mayor and current candidate for Mayor Anu Natarajan was leading the City Council to declare the factory site an historical location. This seemed timely, not just for Natarajan’s tight battle for Mayor but also of course on the first anniversary of Steve Jobs’ dead on October 5. Unfortunately, as reported by the Mercury-News, the efforts to grant historical landmark status were stymied by the rules indicating a location had to be more than 50 years old before that status could be granted. Which, in the tech industry, might as well be ancient history. Heck, new new iPhone is more powerful than the laptop computers Apple was making less than ten years ago – and a factory that produced Macs almost thirty years ago isn’t old enough? Ironic.
As for the City Council’s efforts, this is clear and obvious political pandering. But, you know what, I actually don’t fault them a single bit for this. In fact, I support it. For a city with a reputation of “there’s no ‘there’ there”, it would be nice to point out that Fremont does have a history that doesn’t involve suburban sprawl or green-energy punchlines in Presidential debates.
The news article was useful in providing the location for the factory and yesterday I was mere blocks away for Quinn’s baseball game. So, I drove over to 48233 Warm Springs Blvd to snap shots of the facility. You can compare the entrance today to the archival footage in the video below.