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The Menil Collection Developments


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For those who don't check the Arts sub forum.. The Menil Collection is bringing back exhibitions at the "Byzantine Fresco Chapel".. Sans the frescos of course. (I wonder if they are going to change the name of the building or if it's "stuck") a really neat sounding spacey exhibit kicks off the year long run of exhibitions in the chapel starting on saturday..

Edited by cloud713
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For those who don't check the Arts sub forum.. The Menil Collection is bringing back exhibitions at the "Byzantine Fresco Chapel".. Sans the frescos of course. (I wonder if they are going to change the name of the building or if it's "stuck") a really neat sounding spacey exhibit kicks off the year long run of exhibitions in the chapel starting on saturday..

Awesome news; thanks!!

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At Neartown meeting the COO at Menil, talked about the Masterplan the Museum has made for the next 25 years. There were drawings of the present campus and what changes could be expected,-- most noticeable the continuation Main street-- lastly an artist rendering of what the campus would look like as viewed from Richmond Ave. 

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Edited by trymahjong
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For me, this is a fantastic project. Not only will I have a backyard view of the construction, but it will add to the wonderful collection of

museums, chapels and galleries surrounding my house. Its already an art lovers paradise and I can't wait for the drawing institute to open.

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...kicking myself for not buying a bungalow that area in the early 90s.  of all of the neighborhoods in houston, i would enjoy living within walking distance of the menil most.

 

 

Did you notice the one cottage/ lot on Main Street within the campus that isn't green? The Speaker acknowledged that the Museum had tried to purchase it (she seemed to indicate that the Museum continues to Purchase in the hopes of forestalling multiple town homes being built on lots within the campus) but that the cottage was exceptionally priced and the Menil couldn't justify that price for aquisition. Luckily for the Museum she went on--An individual bought it and is renovating it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ground Breaking in the morning. I believe it's at 10:00. Double check. Entrance behind oak in lot next to the Twombley.

I watched them set up the tent yesterday and Jackson Hicks set up late into the afternoon today.

Lots of sound checks. Should be a festive ceremony.

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The mayor and a cast of Houston's art elite were in attendance and it was a great day at the ground breaking.

Met architects Sarah Johnson she was really nice and Mark Lee and spoke with the dean of architecture from U of H. Spoke with

Gary Tinterrow from The MFAH and Joseph Helfenstein from the Menil. Both seem more than excited to be adding to Houston's collection

of great art venues. This building is going to be amazing. Can't wait till its finished.

I sent a picture of the official ground breaking that should be up later thanks to brjomang

Edited by bobruss
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With the MFAH and Menil expansions, opening of the Midwown art and theater center, art loft expansions in the FIrst Ward, etc. - I'm very hopeful Houston can work its way to becoming an "art hub of the South". We definitely have a leg up already on other major cities in the South, but we're still leagues behind cities like New York where you can't even put us in the same category. Hopefully the gap narrows. 

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Its better than it was back in the seventies. In the last three decades Houston, has made incredible strides in becoming a major art

force in the United States.

I believe we are third in the country in number of working artists and our galleries until the recent announcement of a couple of long

standing galleries eminent closings was by far more outstanding than any other city outside of NY, Chicago, and L.A.. Our art

institutions are as good as anyones. Fort Worth has great institutions also.

Just as New York is the art world center, Houston is the energy capital of the world.

You probably won't find nearly as many engineers in New York or Chicago as in Houston.

We probably won't ever come near New York's level of galleries institutions and living artists, because New York has the galleries the tradition, the institutions, and lots of very cultured and educated people who have a lot more disposable income and really support the arts and artists by buying their art. Houston is getting better but its not there by a long shot.

Its just like all of the performing arts. If you want to make it big you need to be in New York.

There are always exceptions. Talent usually rises to the top but you just have more panache if you make it in New York.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Photos and commentary courtesy of Bobruss: For those who might not realize how much goes into the structure and why it seems to take so long for these buildings to get out of the ground heres one of the reasons. This is just one 10 foot section of wall. If you’ve seen any of the other pictures in here you see how many reinforced walls there will be. Its amazing to watch these guys wearing multiple layers of heavy clothing several very heavy tool bags. At least two or three clamp on safety harnesses, helmets, towels over their necks and very thick heavy gloves. I sweat taking the pictures and am amazed at how they do it. 

 

When they’re working on one of the big walls they almost look like spiders building a web. I wish I could show some of the short videos I’ve shot. I send videos’s  to Johnston Marlklee out in L.A., about twice a week. They get a kick out of getting a first hand image.
 
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http://www.hraadvisors.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Menil-Neighborhood-Preservation-and-Development-Strategy-for-Screen.pdf

 

The Menil campus is fluid, elegantly synthesizing the intimate scale and eclectic character of the neighborhood, the subtlety of the architecture and a collection of irregular open spaces. The blend of an informal landscape with the highly refined architecture reflects the unique and inspired curatorial sensibility that lies at the heart of the Menil Collection. The planned intervention within this landscape will stay true to that spirit, respecting both the residential context as well as the qualities of the Menil to make the campus a richer and more vibrant version of itself. The primary components of proposed landscape improvement and new construction are lighting, pavement, seating, planting, and outdoor sculpture. Revitalization of these elements will promote a sense of continuity across the site while also supporting variations unique to the needs of each area of the campus. Around the main museum building and Menil Park, site improvements will be subtle, enhancing their function without fundamentally altering their character. At the campus entrance at West Alabama Street, a more significant transformation is called for to create a threshold that is clear, welcoming, and on par with the rest of the campus. A major new park will connect the north half of the campus to future museum buildings and developments to the south. This new open space is an exciting opportunity to expand the Menil’s mission, bringing the museum experience into the landscape and creating a versatile social space for the larger community.

 

Opportunities for larger scale development exist on five building sites that are now predominantly vacant, or are occupied by older buildings that have surpassed the useful life of their construction. The parcels’ orientation along Richmond Avenue, and the placement of a new park between them and the campus, provides an opportunity to pursue a new scale of predominantly residential development that will add visual distinction to the southern portion of the Menil neighborhood, and to introduce neighborhood-serving ground floor retail. With potential for up to 900,000 sf of new construction, the development sites call for a series of distinctive architectural expressions that will enhance Houston’s urbanity and solidify the Menil’s role as a curator of contemporary architecture. There are a variety of potential building typologies that could break away from the traditional four-story stick built model employed throughout Houston, including tower-on-base, slab-on-base, and tower-in-thepark, which would encourage a richer variety of forms while maintaining a balance between building density and the new public open space. Building scale will decrease in height as one moves north from Richmond Avenue, with the tallest buildings anchored along the avenue, and stepping down to mid-height in the blocks north of Colquitt. The greatest opportunity to create iconic and meaningful architecture lies in the use of a variety of different building massings modulated across the development sites, and marrying each with its own architectural vision.

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I was speaking to someone this week and they said they are going to be building a mid rise residential tower on the small park behind

the Richmond Hall that was the site of the Tony Smith sculptures I believe thats the West Main corner across from Imprint. East of

Mandell.

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  • 3 weeks later...

High-rise still on the table; may contain affordable housing units.

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Council-expands-TIRZ-to-take-in-Museum-District-6571297.php

 

 

 

The Menil has added a cafe, rebuilt its parking lot and is building a drawing institute. Up next, deputy director Sheryl Kolasinski said, is the renovation of apartments the museum owns along Richmond Avenue into a new multifamily tower.

 

The museum plans to develop a 2.6-acre park next to the new tower and extend the dead-end streets of West Main, Colquitt and Loretta, laying new utilities in the process. The city has proposed asking the museum to build the public infrastructure and park, then reimbursing up to $10 million of those costs via a tax break on the new tower.

The museum's plan would not look different in the absence of public support, Kolasinski said, but it would take longer to complete.

"It's an example for development in Houston," Kolasinski said. "There are free, publicly accessible museums in a publicly accessible park-like setting in a neighborhood that is preserved and pedestrian-friendly. It's one of the few clearly walkable neighborhoods we have, and everything we can do to make more of it is to the benefit of the citizens of Houston."

A portion of Midtown's funds, by law, are set aside for affordable housing, Icken noted, adding that likely will be part of the discussion surrounding the new tower.

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There is talk of a mid rise going up across the street from Imprint on West Main. It would go where the small park behind

Richmond Hall is located on Richmond. The Tony Smith monolithic sculptures were located there but have been moved.

I have heard that Hines might be involved. This could be the project that everyone was talking about a few months ago.

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Thanks to Brijonmang for posting these for me.

In clarification about my garage. The reason it had to go along with my neighbors and my driveway was so that center point could get a really big truck down his driveway and place a new larger pole behind where the garage was. They didn't want a structure too close to this new pole and line. They are taking everything underground from my pole on so there will be no power lines above

ground in the new section of the drawing center. I'm also getting a new garage and driveway. My neighbors driveway has to be

built to center point specs structurally strong enough to hold this truck. They are also digging up my bocce court and a hedge of red tipped photenas I planted as a screen behind the pecan tree on the other side of the back yard. I can't wait to see this monster truck. Centerpoint has been over several times to make sure everything is as they want it. The Menil is taking care of the

driveways and garage and moving my plants so I'm getting a new drive and garage out of the deal!

Edited by bobruss
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Its been amazing to have a front row seat. Of course once this wall goes up above ground I'm going to lose this view but it

really has been fun to watch up close. And I don't have to wear a hard hat. I've been sending short videos to the architecture

firm in L.A. every few days so they can see the progress. They seem to enjoy the videos. I actually caught an interesting

concrete pour mishap a few weeks ago on film of the hose blowing off the extender of the concrete pumping truck almost

knocking one of the guys off the wall. It knocked his helmet off and gave him a concrete shower. I couldn't believe I caught it on film.

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