opening spaces

illuminating the next 50 years as we gracefully expand our campus to enhance the visitor experience.

Opening Spaces is a vital capital project focused on significantly enhancing the visitor experience. Our goals include preserving the Chapel as a unique public art site and spiritual space, serving our growing audiences and setting the stage for programmatic expansion.

restoration of the Chapel

Critical preservation initiatives and upgrades will ensure that Rothko's extraordinary paintings and the space's ambience are experienced as they were intended. The skylight, lighting design, and entryway will be reconfigured, allowing for an unimpeded and better illuminated interaction with the art.

visitor welcome house and program center

Envisioned as the gateway to our expanded campus, these new, multi-purpose buildings will become our primary space for a broader range of public programs, serving our growing audiences while ensuring that the Chapel remains a peaceful refuge. The Visitor Welcome House will feature didactic and historical displays, a bookstore and gift shop, and will serve as a gathering point for groups and tours. The Program Center will accomodate an expanded schedule of public programs, receptions and presentations, including dance, music, exhibitions and film screenings, as well as symposia, lectures and group events.


Recognizing that the grounds are an extension of the Chapel itself, new and enhanced greenspaces for reflection, including the creation of a new meditation garden, will foster a sense of sanctuary and emphasize the relationship between our buildings and the neighborhood.

administration and archives building

New offices, archives, library and conference rooms will foster research and support expanded operations.


Fortifying the Chapel's endowment will provide ongoing funding for the maintenance of our new and restored properties and for expanded programming and operations.

For inquiries or information on ways you can help, please contact David Leslie, Executive Director, at 713.660.1402 or Thuy M. Tran, Director of Advancement, at 713.660.1405.

Thank you for your interest in the Rothko Chapel’s mission and future.

the Chapel's 50th anniversary 

In anticipation of our 50th anniversary in 2021, Opening Spaces will deepen our community engagement and bolster our stewardship of the iconic Rothko canvases and the Chapel building, which Rothko and architects Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, and Eugene Aubry designed in close collaboration.

Chaired by Christopher Rothko, the Chapel Board has initiated the first phase of the campaign to raise critical funding for the $30 million project, which will pay tribute to the Chapel's extraordinary legacy while creating a new vision for its future.

project partners

Principal Architect: Architecture Research Office
​Lighting Designer: George Sexton Associates
​Landscape Architect: Nelson Byrd Woltz
Project Manager: The Projects Group
Construction Manager: Linbeck Group

Together with these allies, we will successfully envision and develop the assets that the Chapel requires to foster its art experience and advance its mission in service to its constituents. 

in the media

Restoring Rothko Chapel, Renovating Houston Campus in $30M Multi-Phase Project - Forbes

Rothko Chapel begins upgrade project that will close beloved art temple for much of 2019 - Houston Chronicle

ICYMI: You Have Less than 3 Months to Enjoy the Rothko Chapel - Houstonia 

Rothko Chapel to close for most of 2019 - Houston Business Journal