back to article Fire extinguishes debate over historic IBM shop

IBM's historic Building 25 in San Jose, California — formerly at the center of a dispute between preservationists and a home repair chain — was destroyed by a fire over the weekend. The three-alarm blaze substantially damaged the abandoned complex, leaving little in the ruins. IBM staff once worked on a precursor to the hard …


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  1. skeptical i
    Thumb Down

    because we have so few big box stores

    If the IBM building were going to be torn down to build a hospital, school, or low- income/ affordable housing, that would be one thing. But for yet another big box store (the majority of which seldom, if ever, repay in tax revenues or local employment the giveaways municipalities fall all over themselves to hand out or the expenses the municipalities incur vis- a- vis increased road maintenance, police patrolling, ad nauseum)? Sadness, just sadness.

  2. yeah, right.


    "Convenient" doesn't being to describe this. Not just convenient for the city, but convenient for Lowes. I always mistrust "convenience" of this nature. I hope the local inspector is truly independent...

  3. LaeMi Qian

    big stores bring jobs and money. yeah

    Like the hardware superstore that was built in my mum's town. It created 180 new jobs, by putting out of business 3 smaller hardware stores resulting in 240 people being retrenched. Then, with the competition gone, they jacked the prices through the roof and there is nowhere within 150km where you can get a piece of wood that wasn't loaded onto the boat only half-cured and is hence warped like a pop-art sculpture by the time it is on the shelves.

    Same with the big cloth store in same town that put all the local fabric shops out of business then trippled its prices overnight (really, it was overnight of the final competing store closing its doors). Then a few months later the ceiling of the store fell in in heavy rain and everyone has to travel 1 hour up the coast to get fabric for the next 6 months. And the idiots amongst the locals that went all starry-eyed over the 'big city' convenience they were getting can't understand what has happened or why the local economy is so bad lately.

    I do wonder where all this money that these big stores supposedly bring to places that didn't have them before is supposed to magically spawn from, so I can go camp there ;-D

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Convenient fire - convenience store

    What - That amount of historical data and no backup ?

  5. Chris Hill

    Another job well done

    Another job well done by the city arsonist.

  6. M. Burns Silver badge


    Having spent half my career in Silicon Valley, and the other half on the high-tech beltway of “historic” Boston, I’ve come to the conclusion that preserving nondescript ugly generic architecture office buildings because some high-tech innovation occurred within them simply shows how ridiculous the preservationist movement has become. Most "historic" industrial buildings are dumps that society would be better off knocking down & replacing rather than wasting time and money on. Furthermore, due to the age and cheap construction of industrial buildings put up since the mid-2oth century, “preserving” such buildings adds huge amounts of pollution to the environment keeping them running regardless of “improvements” to them due to their fundamental architectural & engineering flaws. And, they are all butt ugly. Knock ‘em down! What you replacement them with is up to the community & the landowner.

  7. hans
    Paris Hilton

    Moth and light

    Even here in the UK if dev is planed on an historic site, this seems to aatract a high class of professional arsonist, who ensures the building is beyond repair long before the fire crews get there.

    Soon you will be able to order direct from china anyway, why have stores?

  8. Xander

    Arsonist 47

    Who is this person who keeps burning down disputed places to allow for modernisation?

    First the one bit of Camden that they wanted to stick a bunch of utterly unwanted flats and now a major site of significance to the IT world...

  9. David Cornes
    Paris Hilton

    Get some perspective

    hey, it's just a building. Some clever stuff may have happened there, but that was PEOPLE not architecture. And if it's outlived it's purpose then why keep it around (which will cost money - from who?) rather than put the space to other productive uses?

    If IBM couldn't see fit to hang onto it, then that says enough about it's value to me.

    Paris, 'cos I haven't used her pic for a week or two ;-)

  10. b

    qui bono

    fires are suspicious..

  11. Gareth

    Those historic buildings sure are flammable

    I, for one, am grateful to all these big box stores and condo developers - I mean, they seem to have a sixth sense for working out which buildings are built out of unsafe, flammable materials - look how many of them spontaneously combust while pesky hippies whine about historical value and 'culture'.

    Anyone who tries to prevent these valiant individuals from protecting our children from the menace of flammable old buildings is unpatriotic and should be silenced.

  12. ImaGnuber

    @Get some perspective & Good!


    A plaque marking the spot might be appropriate but 'preserving' the whole damn building? What's next - preserving the structure where the first 'smiley' was used?

    The frowny because the smiley took offence and is off to form a committee.

  13. Walter Brown

    Arsonists have their place in modern society...

    That arsonist should receive a bonus check, look at all the benefits gained from his work.

    Financial savings, he saved hundreds of thousands of dollars from needlessly being spent, legal fees from continuing legal battles, all the costs of demolishing the building, and hauling and disposing of the debris.

    environmental, he saved the environment from having to digest all the debris from a building that big.

    training and experience, the san jose firefighters never get enough training, his services provided those firefighters with a grand opportunity to practice their skills on battling multi-alarm structure fires in large multi-story office complexes, you can never get enough practice at that...

    there are many more unrealized benefits of this hero of modern civilization's work, he should be well paid for this type of higher thinking...

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