Building Blocks

Glassell School of Art moves to temporary location as preparations for demolition begin

Glassell School moves to temporary location as demolition plans begin

Events_Glassell School_Dec 09
The iconic glass bricks of the existing Glassell School of Art will be used in the new building. Photo by Will Michels
News, Shelby, Glassell Temporary, August 2015
The Glassell School of Art moves to temporary quarters on Holcombe Boulevard. Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
News, Shelby, Museum of Fine Arts, new Glassell School January 2015
A rendering of the new Glassell School building. Rendering courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Events_Glassell School_Dec 09
News, Shelby, Glassell Temporary, August 2015
News, Shelby, Museum of Fine Arts, new Glassell School January 2015

Soon the familiar concrete and glass block building that has housed the Glassell School of Art since 1979 will be no more as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston moves forward with its $450 million expansion. But that is not to say that the highly-regarded art programs and classes will be on hiatus.

When the fall session begins in three weeks, Glassell School programs will go on as usual in a Texas Medical Center building on Holcombe at Alameda. The museum is renting space in the former Nabisco factory where renovations have been made to accommodate studio-arts programming. The new school, designed by Steven Holl Architects, is expected to open in late 2017. 

The current building, designed under the direction of Seth Irvin Morris, who also was responsible for designing the Astrodome and Wortham Theater Center, will be vacated in the next few weeks at which point removal of the building's glass blocks will begin. Some of the iconic glass blocks will be saved and incorporated into the expansion project.

Demolition of the building will follow in late August or early September. Temporary fencing is going up soon in preparation for the work.

You can keep up with the progress on the museum's website here.

Groundbreaking on the new building will be celebrated Oct. 16 with a free Mixed Media Block Party in the Cullen Sculpture Garden.