It always makes me sad to hear these (article here) stories. Not that I need, right now, to get on my soap box screaming the benefits of fire sprinklers.
The difficulty of retrofits in historic places like the ones describe in the article are real. You want to keep the integrity of the structure, while knowing that fire sprinklers can prevent real losses. However, with the right design and installation admirers of these historic places (and things) wouldn’t even notice a sprinkler system had (has) been installed.
How does the song go? “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” [washingtonpost.com]