ColumnsSF Bay Area

Why Is The Salesforce Tower So Hated?

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

I’m 30 years old. I wasted a lot of my 20s on resentment, but I don’t want to live the rest of my life with a perpetual chip on my shoulder. As a result of that, I’ve been examining the things I dislike, and why I dislike them. 

One of the things that inspired my contempt was the Salesforce Tower. I know it looks like a dick, but most city skylines are defined by the wealthy’s prowess to point their capitalist spirit cocks at the clouds, and there are other penis buildings that I think look cool, so clearly phallic architecture wasn’t my main issue with the Salesforce Tower. 

Because the Salesforce Tower is much more than a building, it’s a symbol. 

My prior distaste for the tower wasn’t uncommon. But why? Why is a skyscraper in a city with admittedly a lot of skyscrapers such a point of contention? 

Because the Salesforce Tower is much more than a building, it’s a symbol. 

These changes remind you that your knowledge can be reduced to nostalgia in the blink of an eye. 

Beyond the fact that San Francisco’s population is comprised of people with a passion for complaining, I believe that the completion of the tower, in very real terms, put the world on notice that San Francisco had changed… forever. 

And change is scary. No matter how open minded you may be, there is that initial fear whenever there is a significant change in your life or environment, that you will be outdated and eventually removed by your inability to adapt to the reshaping of a place you thought you understood. These changes remind you that your knowledge can be reduced to nostalgia in the blink of an eye. 

I’ve written a lot about San Francisco. Even though I live here now, it doesn’t feel like a place I’m living in, but a place I have temporarily conquered. I remember driving down I-80, or going through the Caldecott Tunnel and seeing the Salesforce Tower standing there, sometimes shrouded in fog, other times reflecting sunlight in multiple directions and it always felt like a subtle challenge. 

The tower is so obscenely tall that when I went on hikes in Vallejo, a city 30 miles to the northeast of San Francisco, if I stood on even the most modest of inclines, I could see the top of the Salesforce Tower. It almost felt like it was speaking to me, “Can you survive this?” I’d imagine it saying. 

The problem was…most couldn’t. And that’s where I think the hatred for the building stemmed from. 

Salesforce wasn’t the landlord that evicted you from your home for a tenant willing to pay double the rent, but it felt like a cultural celebration of the practice. Marc Benioff doesn’t know your name, but he reads the data and understands on a macro level the intensity of your plight, and still the building remains as you’re replaced.

No one really hates the Salesforce Tower. No one really hates tech. No one really hates anything except for being left out and forgotten. 

At least that’s how I have interpreted it. 

A lot has changed in my life and I can see the Salesforce Tower from my living room and bedroom. I see the fucking thing all the time. And I’ve grown to admire the building’s features. I like the projector at the top of the building. I was lying in bed a few nights ago and I was staring at the silhouettes of people dancing and it was oddly comforting. 

No one really hates the Salesforce Tower. No one really hates tech. No one really hates anything except for being left out and forgotten. 

Never forget that. 

Culture, religion, race and any conflicts associated with them, in my opinion, are built on a foundation of exclusion and scarcity. Let people in and you can build all the dick towers you want and no one will say a word…Except for NIMBYs, but they never shut the fuck up.




Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Monday News Roundup: Companies Return to the Office, Conflict for Campos

Next post

Why SoMa Is San Francisco's Weirdest Neighborhood

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground will be available early 2022.


  1. Mark
    March 8, 2022 at 5:38 pm — Reply

    Personally, I quite like it. Its surface is sorta’ soft (no hard edges) and I like the projections at the crown.

    It reminds me of Sutra Tower. Another structure that is visible throughout the city and afar. For decades after its erection in the early 70s it was reviled. I shared in that hate. Then, 10-20 years ago, people new to the city started taking it to their hearts, loving the retro look of it. I took another look, through that lens and came to appreciate it as well.

    (The Transamerica Pyramid was hated by many when it was built as well)

  2. Mark
    March 8, 2022 at 5:40 pm — Reply

    (Editors, please correct my typo. Obviously I meant to type Sutro Tower – damn spellcheck)

  3. The Mamba
    March 8, 2022 at 7:33 pm — Reply

    Mark Benioff has definitely left his oversized pre diabetic choad stamp on our skyline and our local economy and culture for years, with his fake ass Hawaiian appropriating bullshit.

  4. David Campbell
    March 10, 2022 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    Correction: The Salesforce Tower is not shaped like a phallus, it’s shaped like a buttplug

    • Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
      March 10, 2022 at 2:11 pm — Reply

      Agreed! 🙂

    • Owen
      March 10, 2022 at 3:58 pm — Reply

      Which is apropos for Benioff 😆
      I don’t really like the tower or Salesforce but the Salesforce park is nice

  5. Cadence
    March 10, 2022 at 4:23 pm — Reply

    Tech was cool in the 90s, cos they were made up of many interesting geniuses. Now, they seem sorta unreal, navigating this world with their heads cut off, they don’t seem to recognize people as people around them, and general have a strange narcissistic attitudes, which might be the reason why there’s more garbage coming out of tech, than cool stuff.

    As for that tower, something more interesting could’ve been design and built. The bottom facade of the transit terminal is pretty cool with weird organic shapes, but the tower is pretty bland. I mean what’s the distinguishing feature? The tip of the penis changes color. Anything else?

  6. Noname
    April 12, 2022 at 8:58 pm — Reply

    Salesforce never made a profit. They aren’t engineering marvel like Apple. I was neutral about them till they permanently ruined SF skyline with a color changing penis. I think it was deliberate move to piss off remaining sane people in the area.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.