City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Half a Century of Sanctuary

The Rothko Chapel celebrates 50 years as a landmark of modern art and a site for transformative and inspirational experiences.

Tucked away in the Montrose area of Houston is the Rothko Chapel, an unpretentious yet starkly beautiful non-denominational chapel that is home to 14 significant works of art by its namesake, Mark Rothko. The unassuming building has been a landmark in Houston for 50 years and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors annually. The Rothko chapel may best be recognized by the large steel outdoor sculpture Broken Obelisk, created by sculptor Barnett Newman. 

The de Menil family commissioned the Chapel in the mid-1960s, and it opened in February of 1971. This year, the Rothko Chapel celebrates 50 years as a landmark of modern art, a site for transformative and inspirational experiences, and an organization working to promote human rights and social, racial, economic, and environmental justice. 

Closed in March of 2019 for restoration, the Rothko Chapel opened again to the public in September of 2021. This year also marks the completion of the first phase of Opening Spaces, a $30-million master plan for the campus which includes expanding to provide visitors with new experiences and more educational programs. 

“For half a century now, the Rothko Chapel has filled a unique and iconic place in Houston and the world – as both a place of solace and reflection and as an organization working actively toward human rights and justice,” says Michael Piana, chairman of the Chapel’s Board of Directors. “With the Opening Spaces project, it is our intention to preserve the Chapel and make it an even more dynamic presence for future generations.”

Lighting restoration was a significant endeavor during the renovation. The skylight, lighting design, and entryway were reconfigured to enhance the 14 Mark Rothko canvases. Visitors now have more opportunities for heightened illumination and unimpeded interaction with the artwork. 

David Leslie, Executive Director of the Rothko Chapel, explains: “The expanded campus gives us the space we need to welcome the tens of thousands of people of all faiths and backgrounds who visit each year from all parts of the world and allows us to convene community leaders and members of the public to wrestle with the questions of social justice and human rights. This is a moment that the world needs the Chapel more than ever, as our global community continues to face uncertainties amidst the ongoing crisis.”

The Suzanne Deal Booth Welcome House, immediately to the north of the Chapel, also opened in September. The building serves as a central gathering point and welcome center for visitors. The Rothko Chapel is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am - 6 pm.

Rothko Chapel 

3900 Yupon St, Houston TX 77006 


Upcoming Events


November 6, 2021

Rothko Chapel’s 50th Anniversary Gala

Visit for ticket information. 

Beyond the Rhetoric: Civil Rights & Our Shared Responsibility

January 27, 2022

This two-part event series will examine different understandings of and approaches to furthering human rights and civil liberties in the United States.  

Opening Spaces Campaign 

The Rothko Chapel’s Opening Spaces campaign is the most ambitious and transformational capital effort the Chapel has undertaken since it was constructed nearly fifty years ago. Visit to learn more.