The Collection of Gray Bungalows Around the Menil Collection Is About To Be Down One

For the past 2 weeks, workers have been gutting the gray-painted 1940s bungalow at 1408 Sul Ross St., opposite the Rothko Chapel. In some cases, they’ve chucked the removed house parts in the dumpster that’s parked in the driveway.

In other cases, they’ve been saving them for reuse by stockpiling them inside:


The disappearing act is intended to make way for a new complex of buildings that the Rothko Chapel’s overseers plan to plant across the street from the chapel itself. (It has its own work cut out for it: A new louvered skylight system designed by George Sexton — whose firm did work on the Menil Drawing Institute — will be installed in the chapel during a temporary closure beginning next March 4.) Not all of the across-the-street additions will be new construction: The 2-story bungalow shown below on the right — next to the one that’s biting the dust — will be shifted over onto a currently-empty lot to its east and turned into a guest house for visiting VIPs.

That’ll leave 2 adjacent Rothko-owned lots cleared for construction on one of the planned new buildings, dubbed the “Welcome House” and designed by New York architectural firm ARO.

The Rothko board had for years been working quietly with the firm, reports the Chronicle‘s Molly Glentzer, to come up with a new master plan for the entire Rothko campus that includes that new building, along with a few more that won’t be finished until at least 2022, a year after the chapel’s 50th birthday.

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5 Comment

  • the menil waiting game…being the good neighbor. those ugly old houses are going away one by one.

  • Gee, dee. Many people are of the opinion that those ‘ugly old houses’ contribute to the ambiance which makes the Menil campus such a unique and memorable place. I can only imagine your disappointment that this house isn’t being replaced by a pair of hulking townhomes.
    Maybe the Menil wasn’t founded with your tastes in mind. The dearth of Thomas Kinkaide paintings should have tipped you off.

  • Could not agree more on the ambiance of the area.

  • The destruction and replacement of the surrounding Montrose area bungalow’s, with three story stucco townhouses has been a real joy killer for long time residents of the area. It has totally changed the texture of the area. As an off and on resident of the Menil neighborhood since 1971, I believe that the collection of bungalows will be an important part of the Menil collection. It won’t be long before there won’t be any bungalows left in Montrose so there remaining homes should be protected and cherished. It’s a historic snapshot in time and the Menil would have never been designed the way it was if it hadn’t been for the collection of bungalows that populated the area.

  • Thanks, Big Tex. That was some tasty shade. Given the expanse of land the Menil owns, I’m disappointed that any bungalow is torn down, regardless of the reclaiming of the window frames, etc.