R+D659 the latest building to get a touch of red


When it comes to designing condo buildings in Chicago this year, red is the new black. Take, for example, that fire-engine red fin peeking out from behind the scaffolding at Mod, the burgundy aluminum siding on Union Row‘s townhouses, or the scarlet tic-tac-toe board on the face of Museum Park Place. R+D659, Mesirow Financial Real Estate‘s 15-story high-rise in the West Loop, is hopping on the little red bandwagon with a crimson stripe of its own, on the inside walls of its north-facing balconies.

R+D659 renderingI had seen that splash of red in old R+D659 renderings and wondered if the stripe would find its way onto the actual building, and indeed it has. It’s more subtle than the other developments I listed – in fact, it’s difficult to even see unless you enlarge the dark photo above – but having one bright red wall on your balcony must look pretty strange from inside your home.

Red is often an indicator of danger, sin, or socialism – not the sort of stuff developers want pinned to their new projects. My concern with the proliferation of red in these developments has less to do with its cultural connotations and more to do with how it’ll look once it fades into pink and terra cotta hues.

As for construction, Katie Allen from Mesirow Financial says work is three weeks ahead of schedule, and first move-ins are expected to begin in mid-December.

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