The initial frame of the new canopy roof atop the Contemporary Austin’s downtown Jones Center is up.

The 21-foot-tall canopy over the roof deck of the gallery building is part of a $3 million improvement project that will also see the inside of the building renovated to expand available gallery space.

The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center under renovation. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.

The permanent canopy over the building’s rooftop deck will enable the museum to increase the programming it hosts up above the intersection of Congress Avenue and Seventh Street.  With its screen the site of many film showings and its open-air space the location for many public programs, the rooftop has incurred more use than it was initially conceived for.

The Contemporary is funding with project without having to launch a public capital campaign, too. It secured a $1.3 million grant from the Moody Foundation as well donations from its board members and a low-interest bridge loan.

The renovation is designed by LTL Architects, the same designers who handled the major renovation of the 21,000-square-foot Jones Center in 2010.


LTL Architects rendering of Jones Center canopy.

The Jones Center will re-open Nov. 5 with a solo exhibition by Monika Sosnowska.  The artist’s sculpture “The Stairs”  is  currently on view at the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.


Monika Sosnowska, “The stairs,” 2011. Painted steel. Installation view at Contemporary Austin – Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria. Photograph by Brian Fitzsimmons.