Skip to main content

Giant X sign dismantled on Twitter HQ’s downtown San Francisco offices

The new ‘X’ logo is being removed on top of the Twitter headquarters on the corner of Market and 10th streets in San Francisco on Monday, July 31, 2023. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

A gigantic X sign was being taken down Monday atop the headquarters of the social-media company formerly known as Twitter. It comes after complaints from residents and the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection about intense light shining into homes and the sign lacking safety permits from the city.

The X sign resembled more of an H shortly before 11 a.m. as the sign was removed.

The social media giant refused to allow access to a building inspector on Friday and Saturday, according to city records.

The massive X appeared on the roof of Elon Musk's recently rebranded company at 10th and Market streets on Friday in place of the iconic vertical Twitter sign after The Standard saw workers dismantling it.

The new ‘X’ logo is being removed on top of the Twitter headquarters on the corner of Market and 10th streets on July 31, 2023. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

Police showed up while the work was underway, as the city issued a violation notice for installing a possibly unsafe sign without a permit, according to complaints records on the DBI website.

The former Twitter sign is being cleaned at the social media company's Market Street headquarters on July 31, 2023, at around 11:15 a.m. | Source: Lydia You/The Standard

According to city records, an inspector received a complaint about a "structure on [the] roof without permit" and visited the building after obtaining a Notice of Violation. 

The inspector spoke with company and building maintenance representatives Friday, but when the city worker tried to get access, they were denied, according to the complaint tracker. The inspector was told that the structure is a temporary lighted sign for an event. A second attempt was made Saturday to access the sign, but access was denied again by the tenant, records show.

"Over the weekend, the Department of Building Inspection and City Planning received 24 complaints about the unpermitted structure, including concerns about its structural safety and illumination," DBI spokesman Patrick Hannan told The Standard on Monday afternoon, referring to the department-issued notice issued to 1355 Market's owner for the structure on its roof.

"This morning, building inspectors observed the structure being dismantled. A building permit is required to remove the structure but, due to safety concerns, the permit can be secured after the structure is taken down," Hannan added.

"The property owner will be assessed fees for the unpermitted installation of the illuminated structure. 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."

One social-media observer, whose notice of the sign Friday drew attention from millions of viewers, noted the sign's removal Monday morning.

New Zealander Kevin Li outside the Twitter/X headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco on Monday, July 31, 2023. | Source: Lydia You/The Standard

Kevin Li was passing by the offices at 1355 Market St. on Monday afternoon.

"Seeing these big tech offices up close is pretty surreal," said Li, who is visiting from New Zealand. "I just came down here to see what was going on. I think it’s pretty interesting. I think if the company can pull it off, people will embrace it. But it sounds weird saying just X. The Twitter bird is so iconic and the X is very generic.”

George Kelly can be reached at