'Casa Facebook' Recalls Scrappy, Freewheeling Visionaries

Casa Facebook
Casa Facebook

By L.A. Chung

It is on a day like Friday, with Facebook's share sales heading towards $16 billion that Los Altos landlord Judy Fusco might have been wishing that she asked for Mark Zuckerberg's $5,500 a-month rent in stock, instead.

But in September 2004, she was just trying to recoup the $1 million she had sunk into building a five-bedroom house near the Los Altos Golf & Country Club that had been beset by delays and permit complications. The Thai-born Fusco had hopefully brought Buddhist monks from Buddhanosorn Temple in Fremont to bless the home a few weeks earlier.

"What is 'Thefacebook?'" she asked, when she looked at the name on the $10,000 check her prospective tenant handed her for the security deposit.

Casa Facebook
Casa Facebook

There was a time, indeed, when that question was perfectly understandable.

Her new tenant, a 20-year-old kid in shorts and flip-flops, "suddenly stood up very straight" and transformed into a different person, she said.

"He looked right at me with those baby-blue eyes," she said, and he spoke for 10 minutes. "He said they were going to build a network that would change the world." The kid had something, she thought.

For the next six months, she writes in her book, "Casa Facebook," she watched, as the trio she dubbed the "Three Musketeers," slept late and worked all night. During that time Facebook scaled from 200,000 members to 2.5 million.

They coined the "Casa Facebook" name, she said. The pale blue home at the end of a narrow street in unincorporated Los Altos was the nerve center, party house and headquarters of the social network that did, indeed help change the world, she thinks, looking at Egypt.

Read the full story on Los Altos Patch.

See also:
'Facebook Effect': Palo Alto Home Prices Up, Inventory Down

For Sale: New York's First Million-Dollar Parking Spot

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