By Christin Ayers

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — For months, it was nothing more than a drawing, a mockup of a 20-foot tall bright blue obelisk. Oakland’s Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District planned to put up the obelisk to welcome people to the neighborhood.

Over the summer, KPIX 5 asked people what they thought of it and got mixed reviews.

READ MORE: Long Lines Form Outside San Mateo Event Center COVID-19 Vaccination Site

The obelisk’s biggest critic: neighborhood activist Karen Hester. “Honestly, it’s tacky,” Hester said.

After our story ran, the district agreed to put the project on hold. A few months later, the obelisk is here.

“It is a pleasant, welcoming beacon and that’s what we want it to be,” said Don Lowrey of the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District.

READ MORE: Late Rally Fizzles, Warriors Fall to Spurs 112-107

Hester collected more than 200 signatures for a petition opposing the obelisk. That forced the district to hold a public meeting in August. After the hullabaloo that was raised online, seven people showed up. The obelisk went up about a month ago.

“I think the public had a chance to see it and say, that’s really attractive,” Lowrey said.

“It almost made me cry. I was like, oh, wow. This is worse than I thought,” Hester said.

But Hester said there is one silver lining. She believes the uproar that the obelisk caused will force the district to seek more public input next time.

MORE NEWS: King Tide Flooding on SF Waterfront Foreshadows Future Climate Change Norm

[display-posts category=”trending” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”6″]