Every once in a while I happen to run into some old documents about Apple, and it always intrigues me to look up the addresses that were used as offices for the company back in the old days or that played a key part in the early history of the company. Here's a look at what some of these places look like today, courtesy of Google Street View.
First, when Apple was pulling in orders for the first Apple II computers in early 1977, the company sent out a brochure to retailers and interested computer geeks that listed its address as 770 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA, 94304. While that building is now shown to be part of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital complex at Stanford University, the structure still stands and is known as the Lathrop Building:
I just can't imagine Steve Jobs being happy in a building like that, can you? One of the local retailers selling the first Apple II was the Byte Shop at 3400 E. El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051. Where the cream of the crop of personal computing was once sold, you can now get a massage or go to Jenny's Foot Spa.
The Byte Shop was a nationwide chain at one point in the late 1970s -- I recall going to one in Boulder, Colorado to see some of the early Apples and other computers. The Byte Shop chain was started at 1063 El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA in 1975 by Paul Terrell. There's a great Facebook page honoring the original Byte Shop. If Terrell hadn't ordered the original Apple machines to sell in his store, there may not have ever been an Apple Inc.
Next, we'll travel over to 10260 Bandley Drive, Cupertino, CA 95014, where Steve Jobs was hanging out with Woz and other early Apple employees when they made an agreement with Robert Shepardson in 1978 for Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. to write Apple II DOS (contrary to popular belief, Woz had none of the skills needed to write the first disk operating system). Once again, it's an ugly 1970s office block:
The building is now the home of a law office, the United Systems Technology computer store, and the Cupertino Driving School. There's no word on whether the latter business is teaching Apple cars to drive themselves.
Apple seems to have been expanding quickly in the late 70s, and there was obviously no rhyme or reason to where the company was grabbing office space. Another address in Apple's early history was 20865 Stevens Creek Boulevard Building B, Cupertino, 95014. While Street View didn't have an exact match for this building, we did find an existing Apple facility right around the corner:
This actually looks like it would have been a place Steve Jobs would have liked if he was still alive: nice fully grown trees, a Whole Foods Market within walking distance... This address came off of an October 1977 price list for the Apple II, showing that you could purchase the top-of-the-line unit with 48K of RAM for just $2,778 (about $11,000 in 2015 dollars).
Now we're moving over to the place where the pirate flag was hung: the birthplace of the Macintosh, 10460 Bandley Dr, Cupertino, CA 95014 -- otherwise known as Bandley Three. It's a stone's throw from the building where the Apple II team worked, and is still an Apple facility. Remind me the next time I'm in the Bay Area to make a pilgrimage to Bandley Three...
Another place in Apple history that has received historic site designation in California is 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, California 94024. That's the house where Steve Jobs lived from seventh grade through high school, and where the first Apple computers were built. It looks pretty unassuming for a computer factory:
If you have any Street View images of "Apple Heritage Sites" you'd like to add to the mix, send them to me via the email link in the sidebar and I'll consider adding them to this post.