Elon Musk finally dismantled the obnoxious, flashing “X” sign on top of Twitter’s headquarters on Monday following complaints from city authorities and residents. San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspections (DBI) received “24 complaints about the unpermitted structure, including concerns about its structural safety and illumination,” DBI Communications Director Patrick Hannan told Gizmodo in an email.
The sign was installed on the roof of Twitter’s (rebranded as X) headquarters on Friday, less than a week after the company was stopped from removing the iconic Twitter logo from the side of the building. When Musk attempted to scrub the bird logo from the building, local police arrived at the scene after receiving 911 calls that the sign’s removal was stopping two lanes of traffic at a busy intersection and workers didn’t have a permit. When police arrived at the scene, they noted it was unsafe for pedestrians because the workers hadn’t set up sidewalk tape to protect passersby from falling debris. Workers were ordered to immediately stop removing the Twitter sign, leaving just an “er” on the building.
However, a photo of the company’s San Francisco headquarters posted on Monday afternoon appears to show the logo on the side of the building has been fully removed.
The “X” sign was erected as part of Musk’s rebranding efforts as the company’s finances have toppled in recent weeks. It appears Musk was able to secure an exemption to Apple’s requirement that app names be at least two characters long and the name change is official in the iOS App Store. And the company’s slogan has been changed to the slightly non-sensical phrase “Blaze Your Glory!”
Musk seems to have fought back in the most noticeable way possible, but alighting the roof of the building with a bright X, which the company told authorities was “a temporary sign for an event,” the DBI wrote in its complaint tracker. The company went one step further over the weekend and barred inspectors twice from gaining rooftop access to consider the structure and whether it posed a safety hazard.
The building inspection spokesperson told AP News on Friday that a “planning review and approval is also necessary for the installation of this sign.” He added, “The city is opening a complaint and initiating an investigation.”
This isn’t the first time Musk has dealt with pushback from San Francisco building inspectors, having faced investigations into building code violations shortly after taking over Twitter last year. At the time, Musk was accused of violating permit regulations by turning some office spaces into hotel rooms. The DBI launched an investigation, telling Forbes at the time: “We need to make sure the building is being used as intended.”
In response to Twitter removing the “X” from its roof, Hannan said a permit is required to dismantle a structure as well as erect one, but because of the safety concerns surrounding the “X” sign, he said Twitter can secure a permit after it’s taken down. There will be retribution for Musk’s decision to ignore city permitting laws. “The property owner will be assessed fees for the unpermitted installation of the illuminated structure,” Hannan said, adding: “The fees will be for building permits for the installation and removal of the structure, and to cover the cost of the Department of Building Inspection and the Planning Department’s investigation.”
RIP X sign, (July 2023- July 2023).