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Temporary Closure

Monday, March 4, 2019
at 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturday, December 21, 2019

Temporary Public Closure Announcement
March 4, 2019 - Winter 2019

The Rothko Chapel and grounds will close to the public beginning Monday, March 4, after the 2019 spring symposium “Toward a Better Future: Transforming the Climate Crisis,” and will reopen in winter 2019. This temporary closure is the first part of the implementation of the Rothko Chapel Opening Spaces master plan, focused on preserving the Chapel as a unique public art site and spiritual space, serving the growing number of visitors and program participants, and setting the stage for programmatic expansion. 

Project Details
During the closure, work inside the Chapel will include modifications to the entryway and vestibule, enhanced audio, security and fire systems, replacement of the existing skylight and updates to the overall lighting design to allow for heightened illumination and an unimpeded interaction with the artwork. These upgrades will ensure more access and engagement with Mark Rothko’s extraordinary paintings and will improve the visitor experience as a whole. These preservation efforts will bring the experience of the Chapel closer to the founders’ and artist’s original intentions.

Recognizing the grounds as an extension of the Chapel’s service to the community, exterior improvements will include new hardscape around the reflecting pool and enhanced greenspaces. These changes will foster a sense of sanctuary and emphasize the relationship between the Chapel and the surrounding neighborhood. Additional building and infrastructure improvements will be made to make the Chapel less susceptible to flooding and other weather events. This includes a new energy house with a second chiller and backup generator.

In order to create a dedicated space to welcome visitors, including increasing numbers of tours and group visits, a new Visitor Welcome House will be constructed across the street from the Chapel on the north side of Sul Ross Street. The Visitor Welcome House will provide historical and interpretive materials, interactive kiosks and digital displays, information on current programming, and include an expanded gift shop and bookstore. The implementation of the master plan is supported by the $30 million Opening Spaces Capital Campaign.

Questions and Contacts
The closure of the Rothko Chapel will not affect the administrative staff, who will continue to work in the offices at 1409 and 1415 Sul Ross Street. Public programming will continue through community partnerships, enhanced website offerings and off-site facilities. Please visit the events page for program updates and the Opening Spaces page to learn more about the master plan and campaign. To keep up-to-date with the latest information on public programs and the Chapel restoration, sign up for our e-newsletter. For general questions and information, contact

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