It's not hard to figure out why the Kimmel Center has not become the vibrant community center it was intended to be. All it takes is a short visit, which I attempted recently with a friend from New York.

After being denied even a glimpse into the magnificent Verizon Hall, we made our way up to the terrace garden, which was toasty as an oven.

Considering that the Kimmel Center is essentially a box with a glass lid, a seasoned architect - or simply one aware of the seasons - may have foreseen this.

Back on the ground floor, in a last-ditch effort to redeem my praise of the center, I attempted to take my friend to see some of the fascinating works of art that adorn the building's tiers. Discouragingly, all access was roped off.

The first logical step in making a building community friendly would presumably be to give the public easy access to it. The Kimmel Center, with its manifold pleasures kept safe (from whom?) like jewels in a vault, fails at even this.

Samuel Kramer

Mount Laurel

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