It seems that almost every week some place in Philly is getting an eco-friendly makeover. From the new Barnes Foundation on the Parkway, to the self-sufficient, spaceship-shaped houses that grow their own food supply, Philly’s now firmly in its “Green Period.”
And next in line for an eco-boost is the Kimmel Center.
After tweaking the lackluster acoustics in Verizon Hall, the Kimmel Center is undergoing another $14 million renovation in hopes of generating more interest- and profit -in the 11-year-old venue.
A new rooftop garden will be enclosed by a glass-and-steel shell that will serve to control the previously fluctuating climate which caused the space atop the building from being widely used.
In addition to the rooftop garden, the gift shop on the ground floor will be moved and a restaurant wil be built in its stead. A theme has not yet been announced for the restaurant, but Philly restauranteur Jose Garces told Philly.com that the dinner tab at the currently nameless restaurant would range between $40 and $65 a person.
Kimmel president and chief executive Anne Ewers is confident that the money will not be spent in vain, as renting out the rooftop garden alone would purportedly generate some $400,000 a year.
“We get about a thousand inquiries a year [to rent the space], and we could do a total of eight last year,” Ewer said to Philly.com.
The Garces restaurant, which will likel seat 80 to 100 guests, will be open even when there are no events scheduled on the Kimmel Center stage.
“The goal over all is to create a restaurant and bar that are attractive to Kimmel Center patrons and with a broader audience in Philadelphia, to increase the use of the building,” said Architect Richard L. Maimon to Philly.com.
The Kimmel Center’s management hopes that these upcoming renovations will not only enhance the Kimmel Center as a performance venue, but transform it onto an iconic public meeting space for the local community.