Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater Damaged by Rogue Sprinkler System

Classic Arts News   Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater Damaged by Rogue Sprinkler System
An overactive fire sprinkler system has caused serious water damage at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia - the second such occurrence since the venue opened in late 2001.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that sprinklers went off sometime after 11 p.m. on Tuesday night (Jan. 30), flooding the Hamilton Garden (under the center's arching glass roof) as well as the Perelman Theater below.

Rennie Harris, whose Puremovement dance company's performances planned for this weekend have been rescheduled to June, told the paper that the theater "looked like Katrina."

Kimmel acting chief executive officer Natalye Paquin told the paper that there was no fire in the building to set off the sprinklers. No musical instruments were damaged by the water, according to reports.

Musicians weren't so lucky when a sprinkler system went off in the Kimmel's Verizon Hall in December 2002. Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and music director Christoph Eschenbach got soaked during what turned out to be a rainy rehearsal of The Rite of Spring. A number of string instruments were damaged; two Steinway pianos were ruined.

"It was like a natural phenomenon," Eschenbach told the Inquirer at the time, dubbing the 2002 incident "The Rite of the Sprinkler."

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