The Rothko Chapel and grounds will close to the public beginning Monday, March 4, and will remain closed through early summer 2020. 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street parking is free and available on Yupon, Branard, and Sul Ross streets around the Chapel. Please pay attention to all parking regulation signs.
Rothko Chapel visitors are also welcome to use the Menil Collection parking lot located at the intersection of Mulberry and West Alabama streets.
The Moran Parking Garage at the intersection of Graustark and West Alabama streets on the campus of the University of St. Thomas is also available for parking for $5 per car.