Kimmel Center announces choice of firm for renovation

Posted on: February 26, 2009

In Thursday’s (2/26) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reports, “The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has chosen a sound doctor to fix what ails Verizon Hall. Threshold Acoustics, a Chicago firm founded in 2006 after its partners broke away from renowned acoustician Kirkegaard Associates, will undertake a full range of work that in effect transfers acoustical oversight from Artec Consultants, the hall’s original designer. Kimmel president Anne Ewers said Threshold had been engaged for the project from start to finish. … The Kimmel does not yet have a signed contract with Threshold, but the firm’s partners have already begun listening to performances in Verizon Hall, Ewers said, and will be attending rehearsals and concerts during the 18 to 24 months it will take to complete work. The time frame, she said, would allow the Kimmel to study fund-raising strategies for underwriting the remedial construction. … When it opened in December 2001, the $275 million Kimmel Center aimed to provide for the Philadelphia Orchestra an acoustical antidote to the beloved but dry Academy of Music, its home since its 1900 founding. Yet various critics, instrumentalists, administrators, and even Artec have said that the 2,500-seat Verizon falls short of its potential.”