Intel Co-Founder’s Silicon
Valley Estate Lists for
The late Robert Noyce’s one-time home in Los Altos, Calif., comes with a vineyard, sports facilities and plenty of tech-industry history
A Silicon Valley compound once owned by the late Robert Noyce, the “Mayor of Silicon Valley” who co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, is going on the market for $21.8 million.
Mr. Noyce died in 1990. Kevin Kennedy, the property’s current owner, bought the home for $5.5 million in 1999, public records show. He said neighbors and former Intel employees have told him the home’s dining room often served as Intel’s boardroom in its early days. Mr. Kennedy said former employees also told him that Mr. Noyce’s property used to include a tree swing, where Mr. Noyce and his colleagues would “swing like Tarzan” into a pond.
Mr. Noyce bought the home in 1960, just as his semiconductor business was taking off and he had a string of patents in the works, according to Leslie Berlin’s book “The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley.”
“At 33, Noyce had more money than he or anyone else in his family had ever possessed, more than he could ever imagine spending,” Ms. Berlin wrote. She called the French-style home “nice but not ostentatious,” saying it had enough space for each of Mr. Noyce’s children to have their own bedrooms and a backyard large enough for a horse.
In the affluent neighborhood of Los Altos, the approximately 4.55-acre compound overlooks the first fairway of the Los Altos Golf and Country Club. The four-bedroom main house has a formal dining room, a living room with a limestone fireplace, a library, billiards and recreation room and a wine cellar and tasting room.
The property also contains a three-bedroom guesthouse, a grotto-style swimming pool, a lighted tennis court, a putting green, a bocce court, a barn and a vineyard. Mr. Kennedy said a local winery uses the grapes, and gives him and his wife more than 100 bottles of Merlot a season. There is also an orchard with cherry, plum, apple, pear and nectarine trees.
Mr. Kennedy said he retired from his position as president and chief executive of Avaya, a communications technology company, earlier this year and is now a senior managing director at Blue Ridge Partners, a management-consulting firm. He said he and his wife are selling because they plan to spend more time at their second home in La Quinta, Calif., and have purchased a smaller home nearby.
Greg Goumas and Arthur Sharif of Sotheby’s International Realty have the listing.
Source: WSJ.com – Katherine Clarke