Have a naked robot with a well-endowed penis in your front yard? Not a problem! Add a cartouche (decorative medallion) to your home? Face a fine of $250/day! Welcome to the strange world of San Francisco…
In one corner we have the well-endowed robot who lives in the front yard at 2835 Broadway, along billionaire’s row. The home is owned by a daughter of an Oracle founder and her author husband. The sculpture itself was created by Nemo Gould. The robot is no stranger to controversy, having been vandalized at least once over the years, although as he stands today he seems to be doing just fine.
In the other corner, we have the cartouche installed at 1742 Jones St.Â in Russian Hill, which might not be billioinarie’s row but certainly isn’t the tenderloin! After the owners of 1742 Jones installed the decorative medallion, they were cited by the city for failing to conduct a historical and environmental review. The city was threatening fines of $250/day if the offending cartouche wasn’t promptly removed.
This, my dear readers, is San Francisco real estate in a nutshell. Crazy sculptures don’t raise an eyebrow, but a cartouche installed on a home does. And don’t even get me started about the vintage Coca-Cola
advertisementÂ art work in Bernal Heights. Fortunately, legislation has been introduced to allow homeowners to exempt “painting, papering, cartouches, and similar finish work” from city permit requirements, and additional work is being done to allow the vintage sign in Bernal Heights to remain. But all in all, it makes you scratch your head and wonder if we haven’t gone a little insane in the permitting department.
Personal taste is personal taste, you might like it or your might find it offensive… but do we really need city inspectors to get involved with such matters?