Sarah Woodard David: Red Hat too small

January 21, 2014 

As downtown Raleigh resurges and its close-by residential neighborhoods bask in this glow, I can imagine that East Raleigh might be feeling a little left behind. Literally. I hesitate even to mention this because it’s kind of embarrassing. Like everyone else who lives in and loves downtown, I am delighted that Red Hat joined us, but, um, Red Hat forgot something. It left its drawers at home, and now its backside is showing. Please cover up.

Yes, Red Hat’s distinctive building-topper adds a bright pop of color to the city’s skyline, but it is incomplete on the east elevation. A huge gap in the structure reminds everyone to the east that they are at the back, the service entrance, the kitchen door, the side where all the Dumpsters are.

Would Boylan Heights or Cameron Park be presented with a building’s backside? Would the city’s sign-approvers let a building direct its rear-end toward Five Points?

Red Hat is a wonderful addition to downtown, and I’m sure the open backside of the company’s sign is a simple oversight, but Raleigh’s growing and changing skyline should be a point of pride for all sides of our city.

Sarah Woodard David

Raleigh

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