‘Phallic’ Sculpture Causes a Stir in San Benito County

For 30 years, a peculiar rock sculpture has adorned the front of the San Benito County administrative building in Hollister. The artist says the cylindrical statue was inspired by California's Pinnacles National Monument. But some people think it resembles a giant penis.

A group of Hollister residents want county supervisors to give the sculpture the shaft. The board obliged last week, voting 3-2 to create a committee to explore its removal.

“This is a phallic symbol, and it's very uncomfortable to walk into this building,” resident Elia Salinas told the board. “Not every woman in this building apparently sees it that way, but there are some that feel offended to walk to the building for having us phallic symbol.”

Those who oppose the sculpture’s removal called the criticism “juvenile" and a waste of time.

Removal wouldn’t come cheap. Taking the big pecker down could cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, according to the county.