musicman

Menil Expansion (New Drawing Institute, Park, High-Rise and More)

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musicman    178

Museums always face thorny issues when contemplating expansion, but perhaps none more so than the Menil Collection, whose quiet residential location has always been integral to its hidden-jewel mystique in the local and international art worlds.

That

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kylejack    846

Little-known fact to some, Menil owns many of the houses surrounding Menil. For example, I used to live at a house on the corner of W. Main and Mandell (across from Cafe Artiste) and my landlord was Menil. They have a property management office across Mandell from the museum. I always thought owning all those houses was part of a long-term expansion plan. No need for any mess when they want to expand. Just let all the leases expire and then bulldoze the houses. Incidentally, they already have a minor presence on Richmond Drive that they can use, Richmond Hall, a 1930s grocery store that now houses a light installation by Dan Flavin. Furthermore, there is already a Menil-owned path that leads between some houses from Branard to W. Main @ Loretto.

I see nothing but potential for Menil.

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sarahiki    81
Little-known fact to some, Menil owns many of the houses surrounding Menil. For example, I used to live at a house on the corner of W. Main and Mandell (across from Cafe Artiste) and my landlord was Menil. They have a property management office across Mandell from the museum. I always thought owning all those houses was part of a long-term expansion plan. No need for any mess when they want to expand. Just let all the leases expire and then bulldoze the houses. Incidentally, they already have a minor presence on Richmond Drive that they can use, Richmond Hall, a 1930s grocery store that now houses a light installation by Dan Flavin. Furthermore, there is already a Menil-owned path that leads between some houses from Branard to W. Main @ Loretto.

I see nothing but potential for Menil.

I think they also own that industrial building on the corner of Richmond and Mandell; used to belong to the power company, I believe? The white building with the ugly fence around it. It will improve that block of Richmond tremendously if/when they do something with that property.

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kylejack    846
I think they also own that industrial building on the corner of Richmond and Mandell; used to belong to the power company, I believe? The white building with the ugly fence around it. It will improve that block of Richmond tremendously if/when they do something with that property.

You're probably right. At W. Main and Loretto there's an abstract sculpture in an empty field. At one point I saw a similar abstract sculpture being stored inside that gate at the white building.

Menil was a great landlord. The museum security guard would cruise my street and the other streets where they owned properties, and they were always a phone call away if there was someone suspicious and you wanted them to make a pass.

For anyone who hasn't been to see the Menil main museum (which has some surprisingly famous painters' work in it) and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel (which has a fascinating origin story) you don't know what you're missing, they're a real treat (and free).

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UrbaNerd    28

They could always cannibalize the under-utilized Cy Twombly gallery! ;)

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kylejack    846
Feh. I like the current size. Why does it need to be bigger or more visible?

Me too, but also it might be nice for them to make it more obvious to the Richmond line riders that they are there. I'm sure Lucky Burger and Cafe Artiste would like it. And replacing the vacant white building with something useful could be nothing but good.

They could always cannibalize the under-utilized Cy Twombly gallery! ;)

Gosh I hate that place. Rotho Chapel too.

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rsb320    114

They own and use the building for storage that was once the Parade Disco. Maybe that's the same as the Richmond Hall/Grocery store. So, it would appear that they own everything between W. Alabama and Richmond, west of St. Thomas.

I did not know this.

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rsb320    114

Oh wow, I thought it was just storage. It may have been years ago.

Ha, I met Grace Jones, Paul Lynde and Dr. Bellows, from I dream of Jeannie, in that 'Grocery Store' back in the 80's.

  • Like 2

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lockmat    1854
Feh. I like the current size. Why does it need to be bigger or more visible?

I'm curious to know if they intend on building more space for the art etc? It seems like the article said the new space would be for other functions that would create income.

Those facilities include the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center, an auditorium, a caf
Edited by lockmat

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sarahiki    81
Me too, but also it might be nice for them to make it more obvious to the Richmond line riders that they are there. I'm sure Lucky Burger and Cafe Artiste would like it. And replacing the vacant white building with something useful could be nothing but good.

Gosh I hate that place. Rotho Chapel too.

I think Cafe Artiste is closed now.

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kylejack    846
I think Cafe Artiste is closed now.

Thanks for the tip. I haven't been over there in years, but it used to be great to walk across the street for some cornbread pancakes or a Mexican Coca Cola.

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Highway6    365
They also own the giant apartment complex Richmont Square.

HCAD shows ownership of Richmont Square changing in '88 from Menil to Richmont Corp... Is Richmont Corp a menil-owned land holding company?

Also.. HCAD shows UST as owning some of the land the Menil is on. Is Menil-owned land and UST-owned land one and the same ?

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barracuda    344
^Yes, I think it's been closed for nearly a year now

Something else appears to be opening up in the Cafe Artiste building. I hope it's another coffee shop.

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kylejack    846
HCAD shows ownership of Richmont Square changing in '88 from Menil to Richmont Corp... Is Richmont Corp a menil-owned land holding company?

Richmont Corporation's President is Elsian Cozens who was apparently a long-time assistant of Dominique de Menil, so very possible that its all the same family of companies.

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barracuda    344
Feh. I like the current size. Why does it need to be bigger or more visible?

I agree. It's perfect as it is. If you want a big museum, go to MFAH.

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sevfiv    1344
HCAD shows ownership of Richmont Square changing in '88 from Menil to Richmont Corp... Is Richmont Corp a menil-owned land holding company?

Also.. HCAD shows UST as owning some of the land the Menil is on. Is Menil-owned land and UST-owned land one and the same ?

Nothing named Richmont Corp shows up in the state of Texas corporation search..

Plus, why's the address on HCAD 400 Richmond (shouldn't it be 1400?)

...i just google mapped 400 Richmond and it put it at Loretto St. :huh:

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kylejack    846
Nothing named Richmont Corp shows up in the state of Texas corporation search..

Plus, why's the address on HCAD 400 Richmond (shouldn't it be 1400?)

...i just google mapped 400 Richmond and it put it at Loretto St. :huh:

Probably a typo on HCAD. Not sure about your Google Maps issue, because it puts it at Bute St (E of 59) for me.

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danielsonr    3
HCAD shows ownership of Richmont Square changing in '88 from Menil to Richmont Corp... Is Richmont Corp a menil-owned land holding company?

Also.. HCAD shows UST as owning some of the land the Menil is on. Is Menil-owned land and UST-owned land one and the same ?

Yes, Richmont Corp. is controlled by the Menil. The income from the apartment complex provides some revenue for the Menil operations.

Menil has been quietly acquiring property over a number of years such that they now own close to 100% of the land in the area bounded by Mandell, Richmond, Yupon, and W. Alabama. Likewise, UST has been steadily trying to acquire as much land as they can in the area bounded by Yupon, Richmond, Montrose, and W. Alabama. It is the intent of both of these institutions to expand and enhance the visual appeal of their respective campuses.

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danielsonr    3
Feh. I like the current size. Why does it need to be bigger or more visible?

Rather than expanding the main building, I believe their intent is to add other facility buildings, as they have done with the Twombly and Byzantine Chapel buildings, while maintaining a park-like setting for the campus.

Something else appears to be opening up in the Cafe Artiste building. I hope it's another coffee shop.

It is now Sophia, owned by the former sous chef of Shade, David Alvarado: http://www.sophiahouston.com/index.htm

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