The Rothko Chapel has been added to the National Register of Historical Places, this despite the fact that the Chapel is only 30 years old—20 years shy of the age requirement of 50 years for buildings adopted by the Register. The Texas Historical Commission in Austin initially conducted an investigation into the building’s history and use, and a proposal was then sent to Washington; according to Suna Umari, executive director of the Chapel, dedication is tentatively scheduled for sometime in April. Local philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil established the Chapel in 1971; it houses paintings that abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko created specifically for the space. Rothko was also consulted on the Chapel’s design. The Chapel remains a functional place of worship, open to the public, and available for weddings and funerals. Its status as a part of the National Register will add a layer of protection for the structure, and guarantee its survival for posterity.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Rothko Chapel hits the books'