Construction to Begin on Butler Institute Addition

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Site preparation is underway 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. It 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. It will be called the Bacon Addition in recognition of financial gifts from Mahoning Valley philanthropists and longtime Butler patrons Vince and Phyllis Bacon.

An architect’s model of the Butler Institute addition project.

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.

A formal groundbreaking ceremony will take place Thursday morning.

Louis A. Zona, executive director and chief curator of the museum, said 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 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.

The addition was designed by architect C. Robert Buchanan of Poland. Contractor is Davis International of Youngstown.

Pictured at top: Construction vehicles are on-site Wednesday morning in front of the glass-walled Beecher Center wing of the Butler Museum.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.