Butler Museum Begins Construction of Addition

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Construction began this month on a $2.17 million addition to The Butler Institute of American Art that will add much-needed storage and display space.

The 30- by 46-foot addition will extend forward from the front of the museum’s glass-walled Beecher Center modern art wing, which is adjacent and to the south of the original portion of the building.

The addition will feature a massive display window from which large works of art can be viewed by passing motorists on Wick Avenue.

Construction is expected to be complete in October, with the new space opening to the public before the end of the year.

The addition will be called the Bacon Addition in recognition of financial gifts from Mahoning Valley philanthropists and longtime Butler Institute patrons Vince and Phyllis Bacon.

The four-story addition will encompass 3,810 square feet, with the bottom two floors below ground level. It will not add an entrance to the museum.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the project took place Jan. 13.

Louis A. Zona, executive director and chief curator of the museum, says the addition will mainly house a collection of kinetic art acquired last year from the David Bermant Foundation of California.

Most of the 98 pieces in the Bermant collection are oversized; some are as high as seven feet, and large in diameter, and feature moving parts or are powered by electricity.

“We are very excited to look forward to the extra exhibition space and much needed storage space for the growing Butler collection,” Zona said in a statement. “The expansion includes a large and high space to be called the Grand Gallery for dramatic presentation of large artworks.”

Constructing an addition has long been part of the Butler’s plans, as the museum’s collection has continued to grow over the years, Zona said.

Pictured: architect’s model of the Butler museum project. The four-story project will encompass 3,810 square feet, with the bottom two floors below ground level.