Construction is scheduled to start next spring on the $9.2-million, two-story, 33,000-square-foot annex to Santa Ana’s Bowers Museum.

Construction is expected to take 18 months. The existing building, which will be partially renovated, is to be closed in late 1988, officials said. During this period, the museum plans to set up “satellite” exhibits at other locales.

A scale model of the addition was formally unveiled this week by the planning firm, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates of Los Angeles and New York. Final designs are to be submitted to the city in December.

“We sought to keep the new design somewhat in the spirit of the (52-year-old) original” building, said architect Norman Pfeiffer, whose projects have included the recent expansion of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


The Bowers annex will include a large gallery and a 350-seat multipurpose room and will offer improved lighting, climate control and other new technical features. “It will provide far more flexibility as well as space,” Pfeiffer said. “It will give Bowers the opportunity for larger, more significant exhibitions.”

The cost to the city, including the renovation of the original building, planning fees and new surface parking lots, is $12 million, officials said.

An environmental impact report on a proposed 12-block cultural-commercial district surrounding Bowers was approved July 22 by the City Council. The overall plan follows the version initially drafted last year by the museum’s board of governors.