008. Rothko Chapel

Rothko Chapel, 1971, architects Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, Eugene Aubry, 1409 Sul Ross St., St. Thomas University. In 1964, painter Mark Rothko received a commission from John and Dominique de Menil to create a series of paintings specifically for an interfaith chapel they were planning at the edge of the St. Thomas University campus. Rothko painted 18 monolithic dark, brooding canvases for the space—14 of them hang there today.  It has been a beloved community treasure ever since it opened in 1971 and serves as a private meditative refuge and public meeting space. In 2000, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Barnett Newman's "Broken Obelisk" is installed next to the reflecting pool designed by Philip Johnson. In 1969, the city of Houston turned down the de Menil's offer to buy and install the sculpture in front of City Hall as a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. City Hall's loss; Rothko Chapel's gain.

also by Kelly Klaasmeyer

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