Wednesday, December 3, 2014

John A. and John M. Sobrato - Builders of Silicon Valley

The Sobratos
Years ago, in the ancient pre-tech and pre-Jobs era of the late 1970s and 1980s, I had the opportunity to work on a lot of projects in the early orchard-clearing days of the Silicon Valley. I was involved in the design of retail centers, the first high-density housing (2 story garden apartment walk-ups), the first high tech campuses, and later some of the first new high-rise commercial buildings.

A leader in this new form of development – the build-to-suit manufacturing/research/office complex was a gentleman from San Francisco, John A. Sobrato. For a kid working in one of the Bay Area’s premier landscape and planning offices it was a kick and a fantastic learning experience. The firm, Guzzardo and Associates, handled anything and everything – but large scale planning was the most exciting.

John Sobrato was a close friend of the owner and my boss Tony Guzzardo and over the years allowed me to peek into the early exotic and exciting world of high technology in the South Bay. These were the days of hundred of acre campuses, of one-story office/research buildings that sprawled across the region from Milpitas to Sunnyvale, and the growth that has pushed the region to the top of the world. And if there was a ground zero it was Cupertino - Sobrato's office was just blocks from Apple GHQ. In time (and for some with the Sobrato's help) the home to Apple, Sun Micro Systems, HP, and hundreds of other small companies.

This short video interviewing the Sobratos was produced by THE REGISTRY   

Click Video or URL Below

The model is changing, in fact has changed. And it is good to see that the Sobrato’s have changed with it.

Stay Tuned . . . . . . .  

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