Rothko Chapel: Houston landmark, sacred space, work of modern art to close for renovations

Rothko Chapel
Rothko Chapel

HOUSTON – The Rothko Chapel in Midtown was founded in 1964 by Dominique and John de Menil.

According to the chapel’s website, the couple commissioned artist Mark Rothko to “create a sacred space for Houston,” and a sacred space it has become.

Now, that sacred chapel and work of modern art will undergo a renovation to help preserve the building as a “unique public art site and spiritual space.”

According to the website, the chapel will close starting Monday.

In order to better accommodate visitors, a new Visitor Welcome House will be built across the street from the chapel and will provide everything from historical materials to interactive displays. There will also be an expanded gift shop and book store.

The renovations will include modifications to the entryway and lobby. There will also be enhanced audio and security and fire systems.

A new skylight and lighting design will allow for better illumination that will help create a more uninterrupted interaction with the artwork.

Some of the exterior updates will include a new hardscape around the reflecting pool and enhanced green spaces. There will also be structural upgrades made, which will help the building withstand flooding and other weather events.

The chapel is expected to reopen in the winter of 2019.

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