Gingerbread monolith sweetens Christmas Day in San Francisco

The towering baked good appeared mysteriously on a hilltop overlooking the city. But alas, it couldn't last.

Jon Skillings Editorial director
A born browser of dictionaries and a lifelong New Englander, Jon Skillings is director of copy editing at CNET. He honed his language skills as a US Army linguist (Polish and German) before diving into editing tech publications back when the web was just getting under way. He writes occasionally, on topics from GPS to James Bond.
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San Francisco's gingerbread monolith.

KGO / Screenshot by CNET

Many a household has built a gingerbread house as part of its Christmas holiday decorations. Typically, it's small enough to fit on a platter on the dining room table. But in San Francisco, some ambitious baker/builder assembled one that's more like a modernist skyscraper -- a gingerbread monolith.

The towering baked good appeared mysteriously on Christmas morning on a promontory in San Francisco's Corona Heights Park. It seemed to be roughly eight feet tall, its gingerbread slabs held together by icing, with a smattering of gumdrop rivets, according to local news reports and tweets from passersby.

Monoliths are a very end-of-2020 phenomenon, though this may have been the first dessert-themed one. Beginning with the discovery of a metal monolith that had appeared in the Utah desert, bringing to mind a similar structure in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, shiny monoliths began popping up around the world, from Romania to the UK to California, too.

But like many a New Year's resolution to avoid sweets, the gingerbread monolith wasn't built to last. On Saturday, it collapsed, according to the city's KGO television station and some tweeters.

Which lent an air of prophecy to a remark a day earlier by the general manager of the city's recreation and parks department, who told KQED producer/reporter Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez the edifice would remain "until the cookie crumbles."

Apparently, some people couldn't resist temptation:

Some other tasty observations about the gingerbread monolith: