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Fire Code Threatens Asbury Park’s Convention Hall

Asbury Park’s iconic Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre might have to close if a developer doesn’t install a mandated fire sprinkler system.

Asbury Park Convention Hall
Asbury Park Convention Hall (Wikimedia)

Madison Marquette officials say the system is expensive and not economically feasible.

The requirement to install sprinklers in nearly all of historic Convention Hall is very expensive — we’ve received quotes for the work in excess of $1 million,” Madison Marquette senior vice president Anselm Fusco told the Asbury Park Press in a statement. “The building is costly to operate — it runs at a significant loss every year — and to invest so much additional capital in this situation is not economically feasible.”

The company agreed to bring the venues up to code six years ago.

The company hasn’t scheduled any events in the boardwalk complex after May 1.

City Manager Terence Reidy tells the Asbury Park Press he’s exploring whether the building is eligible for state loans to pay for the sprinkler and calls it a priority of the city’s to get them open for summer.

Officials also are looking into whether they could install sprinklers in certain sections which house shops and bars.

The Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall were placed on the National Register of Historic Sights in 1979.

Convention Hall hosted concerts starting in the 1930s. It also has played host to Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)


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