"39 Bells"


   Public soundscape (bells on lampposts)
   South Broad Street (Avenue of the Arts)
   between City Hall & Washington Ave.
   Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
   LL: N 39.93805, W 75.16684 (S end),
       N 39.95151, W 75.16394 (N end)
Site locator map for North end  or  [ MapQuest map ]
Site locator map for South end  or  [ MapQuest map ]
Also see our own Map Use Hints.


   Regional Performing Arts Center
   Kimmel Center, Inc.
   26 South Broad Street
   Suite 901
   Philadelphia, PA  19102
   T: (215)790-5800   F: (215)790-5801
   - or -
   Philadelphia City Hall
   - or -
   The Academy of Music
   Broad and Locust Streets
   Philadelphia, PA  19102
   - or -
   Robert Coburn
   Conservatory - University of the Pacific
   3601 Pacific Avenue
   Stockton, CA  95211
   E: rcoburn /@/ pacific DOTedu


   Programmed to play a symmetric set of
   symmetric compositions daily, one each
   hour from 9 to 5 plus one each quarter
   hour 0815-45, 1215-1345, 1715; was
   silenced in 1998 by construction of the
   Kimmel Center for Performing Arts
   (Regional Performing Arts Center),
   and has never been fully restored.


   A public arts project by Robert Coburn,
   commissioned by the Public Arts
   Program of the City of Philadelphia in
   1993.  All notes except the topmost
   are duplicated, with bass G at both
   ends of the mile-long row and treble D
   at the center - total 39 bells.
   Control panel in basement of the
   Academy of Music.

*Technical data:

   Chime-sized instrument (without any workable playing mechanism) of 20 tones in 39 bells
   Pitch of heaviest bell is G  in the treble octave
   Transposition is not applicable
   Keyboard range:     G D   /    NONE  
   There are no missing bass semitones
   The whole instrument was installed in 1996
     with bells made by Eijsbouts   
   Year of latest technical information source is 1998


A Citypaper article in Sep.1996 reported that "The first ringing of Robert Coburn's Avenue of the Arts Bells takes place at 1:15p.m. on October 3 at the Academy of Music.  It's the opening ceremony of the four-day Avenue of the Arts Festival, which celebrates the completion of the $15 million streetscaping project that complements the renovations and new construction taking place up and down Broad Street." 

The artist's own Webpage, which had information about the project, has unfortunately disappeared.

An essay on "Mobilization of the Arts" mentions this project on the context of a broader discussion of "Avenue of the Arts" projects.

Where this work lies in the sequence of output of the Eijsbouts bellfoundry, in this region and in the world.

Ranking among all North American chimes by size (number of NOTES).
Ranking among all North American chimes by weight (pitch).
Ranking among all North American chimes by year of completion.

Index to all tower bell instruments in PA.


   This page was built from the database on 18-Jul-09
   based on textual data last updated on 2009/07/10
   and on technical data last updated on 2007/03/11

Explanations of page format and keyboard range are available.

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