(re: The Sierra HQ’s) Here’s my remembrance:
The “redwood building” was built for Sierra. I don’t remember it being as late as 1985, but it may have been. My guess would have been closer to 1982.
Soon after we moved in the company hit hard times, and almost bankrupted. The building was part of the problem. We had huge payments, and couldn’t afford the building. It’s a long story, but we had shifted to doing video game cartridges, and got caught with extra inventory when the market crashed. I even offered the owner of the building 10% (and more) of Sierra if he would give us temporary forgiveness on the rent, which he refused. He made the wrong choice. Anyway — within a couple of years, we turned it around and outgrew the building.
We then bought 5 acres nearby and built our own building. It looked like an aircraft hangar. 40,000 square feet of metal building – half for manufacturing and half for offices. This is the building that CodeMasters took over when the Oakhurst location was shut down.
Here’s an amazing conclusion to the story: !!!! I just heard that the building was sold to the local phone company, Sierra Telephone. For some reason the phone company decided to enter the online games business and rehired several ex-Sierra people. In the rumor I heard, developers like Chris Iden and Bob Heitman are back in their old offices, with several other ex-Sierra developers, working for a company called Sierra, building online games.