Lined with early-20th-century bungalows and shaded by live oak trees, the 30-acre campus is integral to the Menil Collection aesthetic and experience. Tucked away within a bustling city, the Menil’s buildings and green spaces are a source of civic energy and domestic tranquility. Museum visitors from around the globe have likened the Menil neighborhood to an urban oasis.
The neighborhood of the Menil is punctuated by major works of outdoor sculpture. Jim Love’s Jack, 1971, welcomes visitors as they enter from the Alabama Street parking lot and walk by the Menil Collection Bookstore. Works by Michael Heizer, Mark di Suvero, and others are scattered throughout. The outdoor expanse includes Menil Park, along Mulberry Street; McGovern Green, in front of the Cy Twombly Gallery; and a large grass lawn across from the entrance to the Menil Drawing Institute. All are free and open to the public.
From the sturdiest oak tree in Menil Park hangs a bright red swing, though it is more than just that: created as an “urban intervention” by a University of Texas architecture student, it is one of many in the globe-spanning Red Swing Project.