I live in the city. I walk past that fountain pretty much every day, going to and/or coming from work. And I usually hit Union Square on the weekends.
It's a freaking eyesore, and the plaza it's in is a dark, barren, windswept pit even the homeless won't enter.
I'm actually surprised the Hyatt hasn't had the fountain drained and removed already, because it's a huge drowning risk for small children. The lip on it is quite low and it would be easy for a little kid to climb up on it, trip, and fall straight into the water. The Hyatt Regency had a kid drown in one of its fountains just a few years back, and they're harder to get into than this thing is.
The criticisms of Apple's building are just idiotic. The glass wall that has so many idiots' panties in wad faces south. It'll get little direct sun in the summertime, while providing free heating for the building in the winter. Not that direct sun in the summertime is a big problem here in San Francisco, where it rarely cracks 75 degrees Fahrenheit on even warm summer days, and where nights routinely get down into the windy mid-50's. The electronics and customers inside the store will almost certainly be throwing off more heat than the sun will provide.
As for the aesthetics of the thing, it certainly looks better than that hideous Levis building, and it's a far-better use of space. It's actually less imposing and since it's shorter than the existing structure it will probably open up the Hyatt plaza to receive more sun in the wintertime, which will be welcome. Maybe it'll prompt the Hyatt to open a cafe or something in the plaza, making use of a currently useless space right in the heart of the city.
I'm not surprised the usual suspects are throwing a fit over it, though. It's what the politically correct idiots in this city do best. I'd like to see them all assigned to cleanup duty around the city, to make themselves useful for the first time in their lives. They could start by shoveling the mountains of human excrement building up on our sidewalks, thanks to the incompetent city government we've got. It's unfortunately more concerned with idiocy like preserving this hideous fountain than providing basic city services to taxpaying citizens.