Master Site Plan

the campaign for Rothko Chapel

In January 2016, the Rothko Chapel began a master planning process that will result in the development of a comprehensive, unified plan for the Chapel campus.

The plan will be developed with extensive input from community organizations and our diverse constituencies and will address the following needs:

inside the Chapel

The need for more appropriate natural and supplemental lighting within the Chapel will be addressed so that the Rothko murals and ambience can be preserved and experienced to their full effect. The interior acoustics will also be improved, aesthetic differences in wall and ceiling surfaces will be addressed, and the weatherproofing and security systems will be updated.


To accommodate the steady increase in our visitor numbers while preserving the Chapel’s purpose of providing a place for contemplation and immersion in a unique artistic environment, we plan to design and build a new space for guest services, conferences, and meetings, administrative space, and guest housing for visiting artists and scholar residencies while holistically addressing the campus and its landscaping.

the Broken Obelisk and reflecting pool

The Chapel will make improvements to the reflecting pool—such as addressing drainage problems, relining the pool, and improving lighting—to prevent future deterioration and enhance aesthetics. This work is being done in partnership with the Menil Collection, whose conservators look after the sculpture and are currently addressing aspects of its deterioration.

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

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

master plan development process

The Rothko Chapel Board’s Site Planning Committee, chaired by Christopher Rothko, launched the master planning process in January 2016. Many leading national and international architectural and design firms submitted outstanding proposals, and we expect to select the winning firm(s) by summer. Once selected, the master planning work will begin.

key partners

The Museum District Association will be a vital partner in the master planning process, as will the Houston Arts Alliance, community volunteers, and neighborhood organizations.

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.