Use the Force Rahm! Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing and campaigning to secure George Lucas’ planned museum here in the city of Chicago. Never mind that Lucas has been talking with San Francisco, George’s hometown and a whole lot closer to the center of movie making. AP reports that San Francisco mayor Edwin Lee has even offered space on San Fran’s waterfront for the museum. But Rahm is a fighter, even if you don’t agree with his politics he does have a passion for the City of Chicago. AP’s Jason Keyser makes four real good points about Chicago’s bid for the Lucas Museum.
HEY, CHEWIE. MEET DA BEARS
The city is offering up a slice of real estate along the Lake Michigan shorefront and near other big attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium. The site is currently a parking lot south of Soldier Field, meaning fans dressed up as Chewbacca and Darth Vader might have to cross paths with rowdy Bears tailgaters.
IS EMANUEL BEING PLAYED?
All good negotiators know you need to play one side against another. And assertions by local news outlets that Chicago is or was a front-runner may have helped wrest a better deal out of San Francisco, which rejected Lucas’ first choice of a location near the Golden Gate Bridge. Lee has acknowledged his city wasn’t a shoo-in but said he wouldn’t easily give up the fight.
Either way, Emanuel stands to gain, if only from the publicity that comes with contending for big-time attractions and events.
THE SECOND CITY IS LUCAS’ ‘SECOND HOME’
Lucas feels an affinity for Chicago, where he has spent a lot of time, since his wife, prominent businesswoman Mellody Hobson, is from the city. Chicago closed down Promontory Point on the lakefront so the couple could host a star-studded party to celebrate after their California wedding. In a statement welcoming Chicago’s bid, Lucas even called it his “second home.”
THIS MAY — OR MAY NOT — BE THE CITY YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Emanuel’s Chicago fancies itself a big-league center of high-tech and innovation, and it does have some street cred there, with companies such as Boeing and sensations including Groupon. And while the San Francisco area can boast companies including Apple and Google, Lucas spokesman David Perry has praised Chicago for the attention it lavishes on culture, architecture, innovation and education — some of the lofty themes the museum will seek to promote.
I for one would love to see this happen to Chicago, politics aside, I love my city! I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and still live here. All four of my kids (five in August) were born here and if I ever move away, Chicago will always be home to me. Getting something of this awesomeness would certainly put a little more strut in our Chicago step! What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Social links located to the left of your screen.