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For Sale: Lightly Scuffed Symbol of City's Capitulation to Corporate Menace (Gently Used)

"Tell them to contact us for pricing." 


You know what they say: One man’s symbol of civic ineptitude is another man’s treasure. A giant gold “50” sculpture left over from San Francisco’s flirtation with the alien exurban drag of mediocrity has been spotted at the nonprofit salvagers Building REsources, and it can be yours—for a fee, of course! The giant 50 arrived in the week after the Super Bowl, as Super Bowl City was being dismantled, says executive director Ed Dunn. The pair of numbers turned up in three or four pieces each and was reassembled by Building REsources staff. Dunn and a colleague handled the zero. The digit is designed to be fastened from inside, so the colleague climbed in via an access point on the back, recalls Dunn. “The pieces are bulky,” he cautions. “Two people can pick them up, though you might want a forklift.”

How did Building REsources end up harboring a symbol of both San Francisco’s capitulation to and resistance against corporate takeovers? According to Dunn, the host committee contacted various salvage groups, including Building REsources and Recology SF, to find a home for the bulky items left over from Super Bowl City and the NFL Experience at Moscone Center. Building REsources accepted only one “50.” Dunn explains, “We want to take things that are useful to the small do-it-yourselfer to do their projects at home, so this is on the far edge of the spectrum of what a do-it-yourselfer could possibly want." (Or is it? Imagine the possibilities: greeting future barbecue guests with a timeless Sup Bro, constructing an enormous Superb Owl habitat, announcing a new proctology practice, just for starters.)

In effort to track down the other “50” sculptures, San Francisco placed calls to Recology SF and the Super Bowl Host Committee. If we hear back, we’ll be sure to let you know (though we can’t help you schlep them, free six pack or no). 

The digits are in good condition, affirms Dunn, though there are some scuff marks from natural wear and tear. Building REsources staffer Maurizio Rauda says he thinks some people have been by to scope them out, but as for serious takers? “So far, not yet,” he says. Dunn declined to quote a price. “Tell them to contact us for pricing. We'll be slightly opaque that way,” he says, sounding like he's running a City Hall meeting circa 2013. 

Asked for suggestions on a good reuse for the sculpture, Dunn is pensive. “Unless you want to spell ‘five’ or ‘oh’ or perhaps ‘oh-five’ or ‘five-oh,’ it’s limited to those applications,” he says. 


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