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Modeled after the Ritz-Carlton in New York, the hotel cost over one million dollars to construct.During the 1960s and 1970s, Montrose became a center for the burgeoning counterculture movement, with street musicians, alternative community centers and hippie communes, head shops and artisans’ studios proliferating.Also starting around the 1970s the area became known as the center for the gay and lesbian community of Houston.The area sported an estimated 30-40 gay bars at the time, including the Bayou Landing, thought to be the largest gay dance hall between the coasts, and several gay activist groups, including the Gay Liberation Front.The Rothko Chapel, also created by John and Dominique de Menil, is a non-denominational chapel located one block from the Menil.Fourteen black and color-hued paintings by Mark Rothko are on the interior walls.
The Bohemian flavor of the Montrose would spawn both the Westheimer Colony Art Festival in 1971 and the subsequent street fair in 1973, which would become known as the Westheimer Street Festival.Link built his own home in Montrose, known as the Link-Lee Mansion, which is now part of the University of St. A streetcar, the Montrose Line, ran through the neighborhood. Montrose is going to lead the procession." It did, and the procession eventually continued far beyond the neighborhood.In 1926, the Plaza Apartment Hotel, Houston’s first apartment hotel, opened on Montrose Boulevard.The shape and design of the chapel were largely influenced by the artist.Barnett Newman's sculpture, Broken Obelisk, dedicated to the late Martin Luther King, Jr., stands in front of the chapel in a reflecting pool designed by famed architect Philip Johnson. Basil, designed by Philip Johnson, is on the campus of nearby University of St. It is faced with white stucco and black granite, and is operated by the Congregation of St. The City of Houston purchased the building used for the storefront with federal community development funds.