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20 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

It's less about what is there, and more about what isn't there.

I agree.  I have fond memories of attending my sister's St. Thomas University (as it was called in those days) graduation in 1976 as a little kid, when my parents were still alive and us "little ones" (the youngest 3 of our siblings) were able to attend a very somber but happy occasion.  Funny but I'm now older than my parents were then and honestly it seems like almost yesterday.

 

It was the starkness and serenity that clicked for me.  A place to appreciate all things inner spirituality without your surroundings "suggesting" what you should be thinking about in this place of spirit and an "all faiths" approach to not only religion, but the spirituality of those who don't think in religious ways.  Yet, somehow, it seemed appropriate for all people of faith of any religion.  As an added bonus, it was my introduction into the world of abstract Rothko paintings and all that goes along with that.  A "blank canvass" approach - almost literally - to introducing humans to a different way of worship or non-worship and inner thought and spirituality.

 

So, I look very much forward to being able to visit again when this exciting renovation is complete, now that I'm in my mid-life years (LOL you'll have to guess how old I am...) and see how I feel once I'm there again.  I imagine it will be sort of like a high school senior going back to his 1st grade classroom and having that sudden revelation of just how tiny those desk chairs are compared to how much he or she has grown into adult hood.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Highrise Tower changed the title to Rothko Chapel Expansion
  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

I was lucky enough to take a tour of the project back in the spring. It's come along a lot further than when I was there and looks great. Fun fact that I didn't realize until told. The window system used the visitor center is actually wood not metal. I don't know the reasoning behind using that system vs a conventional metal one, but you basically have to know it wasn't metal and thump on it and notice it.

Edited by jermh
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Very interesting... I will need to take a look to see how this all fits. I am not sure I am getting the real feel from the pictures...

 

Bamboo gone. GOOD. That is really not right for Houston.

 

I wonder why the decided to block off the West side of the fountain / obelisk (sp?) again. I thought it would be much more profound if it was left open to the park...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Avossos said:

Very interesting... I will need to take a look to see how this all fits. I am not sure I am getting the real feel from the pictures...

 

Bamboo gone. GOOD. That is really not right for Houston.

 

I wonder why the decided to block off the West side of the fountain / obelisk (sp?) again. I thought it would be much more profound if it was left open to the park...

 

Well of course, All these were taken from around the perimeter haha. Definitely go there yourself and check it out.

 

If I remember correctly the original renders and site plan called for that side of the obelisk to get new foliage to line that entire edge.

 

I like that they went back in with new foliage. One of the best vantage points for the obelisk is sitting on that bench in the corner, and having a feeling of uninterrupted seclusion. Opening that up would make the obelisk feel a bit naked, in my opinion. We have to remember that this part of grounds isn't meant to be some classical statue in front of a building and be subservient to it. The whole point of the Broke Obelisk is that it's the "anti" statue. Its a critique on the fact that its a statue. That makes it more its own art work which deserves its own space and unique setting. Taking away that wall of foliage would ruin that feeling in my opinion. Now if this were a more classical or traditional sculpture then I would completely agree with you because that kind of sculpture wants to stand proudly in the center and out in the open.

Edited by Luminare
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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

Well of course, All these were taken from around the perimeter haha. Definitely go there yourself and check it out.

 

If I remember correctly the original renders and site plan called for that side of the obelisk to get new foliage to line that entire edge.

 

I like that they went back in with new foliage. One of the best vantage points for the obelisk is sitting on that bench in the corner, and having a feeling of uninterrupted seclusion. Opening that up would make the obelisk feel a bit naked, in my opinion. We have to remember that this part of grounds isn't meant to be some classical statue in front of a building and be subservient to it. The whole point of the Broke Obelisk is that it's the "anti" statue. Its a critique on the fact that its a statue. That makes it more its own art work which deserves its own space and unique setting. Taking away that wall of foliage would ruin that feeling in my opinion. Now if this were a more classical or traditional sculpture then I would completely agree with you because that kind of sculpture wants to stand proudly in the center and out in the open.

 

Couldn't agree more. While recognizing that bamboo can be problematic, I was initially disappointed to see they'd removed it for exactly the reasons you cited - the quiet, isolated feeling in that corner was a big part of its appeal. I haven't been by there recently, but judging from the pics you posted earlier the new foliage looks like it will effectively address the concerns I had. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Avossos said:

Very interesting... I will need to take a look to see how this all fits. I am not sure I am getting the real feel from the pictures...

 

Bamboo gone. GOOD. That is really not right for Houston.

 

I wonder why the decided to block off the West side of the fountain / obelisk (sp?) again. I thought it would be much more profound if it was left open to the park...

axonometric site plan of proposed Rothko Chapel campus cut through the chapel and program center interior

 

This is the site plan for the completed campus (https://www.aro.net/rothko-chapel/). The plaza with reflecting pool and obelisk is meant to be a serene, meditative space just like the chapel itself. The idea is that visitors will enter from the east/west sidewalks into a sort of outdoor room that serves as a transition into the chapel space. I can't find it, but an earlier site plan showed the vegetative screen continuing on the other side of the west sidewalk up to the west side of the chapel. I believe that earlier site plan also included a labyrinth between the chapel and the meditative garden.

Edited by danielsonr
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18 minutes ago, danielsonr said:

This is the site plan for the completed campus (https://www.aro.net/rothko-chapel/). The plaza with reflecting pool and obelisk is meant to be a serene, meditative space just like the chapel itself. The idea is that visitors will enter from the east/west sidewalks into a sort of outdoor room that serves as a transition into the chapel space. I can't find it, but an earlier site plan showed the vegetative screen continuing on the other side of the west sidewalk up to the west side of the chapel. I believe that earlier site plan also included a labyrinth between the chapel and the meditative garden.

 

Nice isometric visual.

 

I'm still wondering when they will move what is labeled as the "guest house" down one lot. Until they get that done then they can't build the admin building.

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1 hour ago, danielsonr said:

Unforeseen structural issues with the chapel have set them back from both a budget and time perspective: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/entertainment/arts-theater/article/rothko-chapel-construction-update-14572005.php#photo-18521929

Thanks for the article. What I'm writing below isn't aimed at you, but my general distain for most media.

 

The Chron is using a typical media framing narrative.

 

Media: See's something that they are either ignorant too or don't understand

Media: "This is a crisis!" or "This is an issue" or "This is a problem".

 

Just because they don't understand these things doesn't mean the building had structural issues.

 

The issue isn't that the actual building has structural issues. The issue is that the building doesn't meet current codes of today. Completely different. In particular we design for different wind loads because we have better standards for designing in hurricane prone areas because we have better data than they did in the 1970's.

 

The building was built to 1970's code, and it still meets those standards. Its grandfathered in, and if it still meets that code then its fine. No failure. However, today we have higher standards, but that doesn't mean that there is a problem or issue with the structure itself, it just means that, by our standards today the structure is deemed inefficient. They could have just continued on with the build like nothing happened. Plenty of people do. Its understandable why, because its very expensive to bring an existing building to code. Sometimes more than the original cost of the building.

 

Thankfully ARO seems to have good heads on their shoulders, and are responsible architects. They saw that the building didn't meet current code standards, and so to be better "stewards" to the building they decided it would be best if an investment was made to future proof the building. I'm glad they at least got a statement from the architect because thats the only valuable information in this article. The way they frame it at the beginning makes it seem like the building was going to collapse at any minute.

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28 minutes ago, Luminare said:

Thanks for the article. What I'm writing below isn't aimed at you, but my general distain for most media.

 

The Chron is using a typical media framing narrative.

 

Media: See's something that they are either ignorant too or don't understand

Media: "This is a crisis!" or "This is an issue" or "This is a problem".

 

Just because they don't understand these things doesn't mean the building had structural issues.

 

The issue isn't that the actual building has structural issues. The issue is that the building doesn't meet current codes of today. Completely different. In particular we design for different wind loads because we have better standards for designing in hurricane prone areas because we have better data than they did in the 1970's.

 

The building was built to 1970's code, and it still meets those standards. Its grandfathered in, and if it still meets that code then its fine. No failure. However, today we have higher standards, but that doesn't mean that there is a problem or issue with the structure itself, it just means that, by our standards today the structure is deemed inefficient. They could have just continued on with the build like nothing happened. Plenty of people do. Its understandable why, because its very expensive to bring an existing building to code. Sometimes more than the original cost of the building.

 

Thankfully ARO seems to have good heads on their shoulders, and are responsible architects. They saw that the building didn't meet current code standards, and so to be better "stewards" to the building they decided it would be best if an investment was made to future proof the building. I'm glad they at least got a statement from the architect because thats the only valuable information in this article. The way they frame it at the beginning makes it seem like the building was going to collapse at any minute.

Did you miss this part of the article?:

“And when construction crews dismantled the chapel’s acoustical ceiling tiles this summer to prepare the building for a new skylight, they found the concrete support walls were built without steel reinforcement.

 

This was a common building practice in 1970, and the chapel is grandfathered from current codes written with an eye toward 130 mile-per-hour hurricane gusts, said executive director David Leslie. But the chapel’s leadership took no chances.

This is a simple matter of stewardship,” Leslie said. “I don’t like to use double negatives, but we cannot not do it. … If a weather incident hit the walls at just the right angle, you could lose the chapel. A wall could collapse.”

Lead architect Stephen Cassell of the New York firm Architecture Research Office said visitors were never in danger of being inside a toppling building, because the chapel would be closed during a major hurricane event. But he and ARO partner Adam Yarinsky were also mindful of protecting Rothko’s priceless paintings.”

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19 hours ago, danielsonr said:

axonometric site plan of proposed Rothko Chapel campus cut through the chapel and program center interior

 

This is the site plan for the completed campus (https://www.aro.net/rothko-chapel/). The plaza with reflecting pool and obelisk is meant to be a serene, meditative space just like the chapel itself. The idea is that visitors will enter from the east/west sidewalks into a sort of outdoor room that serves as a transition into the chapel space. I can't find it, but an earlier site plan showed the vegetative screen continuing on the other side of the west sidewalk up to the west side of the chapel. I believe that earlier site plan also included a labyrinth between the chapel and the meditative garden.

 

19 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Nice isometric visual.

 

I'm still wondering when they will move what is labeled as the "guest house" down one lot. Until they get that done then they can't build the admin building.

 

 

Good find, thanks!

 

Very interesting to see these low rise, urban developments prioritize green space and the 'experience'. Certainly takes a singular vision.

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19 hours ago, danielsonr said:

Unforeseen structural issues with the chapel have set them back from both a budget and time perspective: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/entertainment/arts-theater/article/rothko-chapel-construction-update-14572005.php#photo-18521929

 

To be clear, that article was from October, 2019 and this issue was reported to us on the previous page by mkultra25.  This is not a further delay.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

To be clear, that article was from October, 2019 and this issue was reported to us on the previous page by mkultra25.  This is not a further delay.

I realize that article was from last October, but the rebar work and rebricking of the facade was only completed about a month or so ago. This additional work also had a major impact on their capital budget. I was simply responding to a question about why the guest house had not yet been relocated to make way for the completion of the visitor center/office/plaza complex north of the chapel. My apologies to mkultra25 for not citing him/her for referencing a Chronicle article six months ago. Jeez, this is why I rarely post on this site.

Edited by danielsonr
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1 hour ago, danielsonr said:

My apologies to mkultra25 for not citing him/her for referencing a Chronicle article six months ago. Jeez, this is why I rarely post on this site.

 

No apologies necessary. Hell, I'd forgotten I'd previously posted it until Houston19514 pointed it out.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, danielsonr said:

I realize that article was from last October, but the rebar work and rebricking of the facade was only completed about a month or so ago. This additional work also had a major impact on their capital budget. I was simply responding to a question about why the guest house had not yet been relocated to make way for the completion of the visitor center/office/plaza complex north of the chapel. My apologies to mkultra25 for not citing him/her for referencing a Chronicle article six months ago. Jeez, this is why I rarely post on this site.

 

Relax.  I merely wanted to clarify.  Without the clarification, a casual reader would have gotten the idea this was new information and more delays were imminent.

Edited by Houston19514
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2 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Relax.  I merely wanted to clarify.  Without the clarification, a casual reader would have gotten the idea this was new information and more delays were imminent.

I commend you for taking the time to protect the unwashed readership of HAIF from misinformation. 

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  • 3 months later...

After extensive renovation, Rothko Chapel set to welcome visitors again

https://communityimpact.com/houston/heights-river-oaks-montrose/arts-entertainment/2020/09/17/after-extensive-renovation-rothko-chapel-set-to-welcome-visitors-again/

Quote

After a year and a half of renovation and restoration, the Rothko Chapel, located at 3900 Yupon St., Houston, will reopen to the public Sept. 24.

Admission to the Rothko Chapel is free, but tickets will be required, and visits will be limited to 30 minutes. The chapel will be open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

 

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