In a city of exuberant excess, the campus surrounding the Menil Collection has always been an anomalous island of serene good taste. Dreamy live oaks. Manicured lawns. Sleek modern public structures interspersed by huge contemporary sculptures and vintage bungalows painted a uniform sober earth-gray.
I've always thought of these Montrose blocks as Menil World, a land apart. Here the pared modern vision of the late John and Dominique de Menil flourishes ever so quietly around the Renzo Piano-designed museum they endowed, now an international tourist attraction.