260 S. Broad St., 215/790-5800,
After a decade of planning, fundraising, litigating, and building, the Kimmel Center opened its doors in 2001, providing the city with a venue that deserves that bold label: world-class. Architect Rafael Viñoly and acoustics company Artec Consultants combined efforts in creating the magnificent crowning jewel of the Avenue of the Arts.
With two posh theaters, imported exotic wood finishes, and a soaring vaulted glass ceiling rising 150 feet above the lobby, the Kimmel is truly breathtaking. Its resident companies include the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania Ballet, but it’s much more than just a venue for ladies who lunch. It also programs international musicians, local dance company PhilaDanco, all-night rock shows, and a variety of free shows.
Performances are held in the innovatively designed music halls, offering incredible acoustics and aesthetics. The expansive Verizon Hall seats over 2,500 on red-velvet chairs, and the more intimate Perelman Theater holds 650.
Before or after a performance, you can stroll through the Dorrance H. Hamilton Roof Garden to enjoy the great views. Or take a free tour, offered on a first-come, first-served basis daily except Monday, beginning at the information desk in Commonwealth Plaza at noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition