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Pulsating ‘X’ sign at San Francisco HQ infuriates neighbors

Elon Musk’s publicity stunt to rebrand Twitter with a strobe-lit “X” atop the company’s San Francisco headquarters has drawn the wrath of neighbors — and the company has pulled the plug on the installation.

Prior to removing the sign late Monday, the billionaire touted the display in a 19-second video of the pulsating logo lighting up the night sky after the company erected the metal structure on the roof of its Market Street headquarter.

“Our HQ in San Francisco tonight,” Musk tweeted.

But Musk’s enthusiasm was not shared by many of his fellow Bay Area residents.

“This thing is an eye sore during the day too. Eek,” tweeted Christopher Beale, who shared a video showing how the strobing X sign beams into his apartment.

On Saturday, “the X sign is dark,” Beale added, though by Sunday it was back.

Twitter solidified its rebrand with a beaming “X” sign atop its San Francisco headquarters. The sign, which also features pulsating and strobing lights, has angered nearby residents.
Elon Musk/X

It’s unclear where Beale lives, though X’s headquarters in Market Square are surrounded by apartment complexes, including luxury building NEMA, Essex Fox Plaza and AVA 55th Ninth.

“I would be f–king LIVID. Imagine this f–king X sign right across from your bedroom,” another X user wrote.

“I LOVE living in the city and all that comes with it. I love the streetlights, the sirens, the dings of the trolley. Nothing about this stupid sandbagged solar flare is normal or good,” the user, who goes by Kyle, added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Building Inspection, which regulates construction in the city, has opened an investigation into the sign, city officials confirmed to the San Francisco Standard.

The DBI has active complaints related to the sign, according to the outlet, claiming that the illuminated “X” logo is an unpermitted structure on the roof.

A third user added: “If every business in a city put this kind of crap on the roof that city would become unlivable.”

The company — which raked in $4.4 billion in revenue in 2022, most of which came from ads — is also facing litigation in San Francisco over $136,260 in unpaid rent.

“If he don’t pay his bills it won’t shine very long,” another X user chimed in, referencing Musk’s string of financial struggles since acquiring the app previously known as Twitter for $44 billion in October.

Last month, Musk’s operation was evicted from its office in Boulder, Colo., after not paying rent for two months.

In June, then-Twitter’s landlord filed a complaint against its Musk-headed tenant, alleging the company was behind on rent payments, according to court documents obtained by the Denver Business Journal.

X's headquarters is located in San Francisco' Market Square and is surrounded on three sides by apartment complexes.
X’s headquarters is located in San Francisco’s Market Square and is surrounded on three sides by apartment complexes.

Users on X questioned whether owner Elon Musk obtained the proper permits to erect the light, or if he will do the neighborly thing and turn it off.
Users on X questioned whether owner Elon Musk obtained the proper permits to erect the light, or if he will do the neighborly thing and turn it off.
AFP via Getty Images

A Boulder County judge has since ordered a sheriff to remove Twitter from its Rocky Mountain outpost, located at 3401 Bluff St. in Boulder, Colo.

According to a separate complaint filed in May, Twitter is also behind on nearly $100,000 in cleaning fees at its other offices in Colorado, at 1301 Walnut St.

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