We’ve previously discussed Chicago’s attempts at luring the George Lucas Museum to the city. Well, the wooing worked. It turns out that the Windy City will in fact host the upcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. A spot on the city’s Museum Campus along Lake Michigan was a strong deciding factor in choosing Chicago over San Fransisco.
The decision was a stunning upset for San Francisco. Lucas has plenty of ties to the Bay Area. He’s from Modesto, California, and built his Skywalker ranch complex in Marin County north of the city. He started other ventures over the years also based in the Bay Area, including Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucas said in a news release Tuesday that choosing Chicago over San Francisco was the “right decision for the museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in San Francisco.”
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said there was a lot of support for the Lucas museum in his city. But Lee also said he understood why the iconic movie producer searched for sites in other cities for the cultural center.
“The Presidio Trust unwisely rejected Mr. Lucas’ proposal for a site near Crissy Field, which … forced Mr. Lucas to look to cities like Chicago, and put San Francisco’s chance at landing the museum in jeopardy,” Lee said in a statement Tuesday
The location for the future Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, along the city’s famed lakefront as part of what’s known as the museum campus, was a deciding factor. Chicago was chosen “because of the quality of the site proposed by the city’s task force. The 17-acre site offers unparalleled visitor access,” a news release said.
The campus is already home to the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium.
Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, also calls Chicago home. She’s the president of Chicago-based Ariel Investments and sits on numerous corporate boards.
Proposed location of the Lucas Museum between Soldier Field and McCormick Place:
Joining a Respected Group of Museums
The Shedd Aquarium (founded in 1929), the Field Museum (1912), and the Adler Planetarium (1930) will soon have a more contemporary neighbor in the Lucas museum. CNN reports that the Lucas Museum will be quite a bit different than the current Museum Campus residents:
The museum will display some of Lucas’ extensive collection of artwork, including paintings by Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth. It will also feature his large collection of movie posters and memorabilia, including props from his “Star Wars” films and others.
The museum is also billed as a “gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of the visual image — from illustration to cinema to digital arts,” according to a news release.
“No other museum like this exists in the world, making it a tremendous educational, cultural and job creation asset for all Chicagoans, as well as an unparalleled draw for international tourists,” said Emanuel.
Star Wars is undeniably popular around the world and it stands to reason that the Lucas Museum will bring more tourism dollars to the city. I, for one, hope that this museum is more Episodes IV – VI and far, far less Jar Jar Binks. There is currently no timetable for completion of the museum. What do you think about the Lucas Museum coming to Chicago? Let us know in the comments, or on your favorite social network. Links to our social pages can be found on the left side of your screen.