The Associated Press is reporting that George Lucas has selected Chicago to be the home for his Cultural Arts Museum:
“Star Wars” creator George Lucas has selected Chicago to house his much anticipated museum of art and movie memorabilia, a spokesman for the mayor’s office said Tuesday.
The decision is a major victory for the nation’s third-largest city, which was locked in a battle for the museum with San Francisco. Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, confirmed that Lucas had selected Chicago but did not immediately have any details.
A spokesman for Lucas did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A message was also left with the San Francisco mayor’s office.
The search for the museum’s home began after the Presidio Trust decided not to develop the Mid-Crissy site that was the original desired location for the museum. While George Lucas has strong ties to the Bay Area, Chicago is his second home as it is the hometown of his wife Mellody Hobson.
UPDATE: Here is the official press release from the newly named Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) announced today that it intends to join Chicago’s vibrant cultural arts scene by locating on the city’s Museum Campus. LMNA will be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of the visual image – from illustration to cinema to digital arts.
“We are honored to be partnering with the city of Chicago and the many cultural, educational and community groups that have come forward with ideas about how the LMNA will add to their work,” said George Lucas, the Museum’s founder. “I am humbled to be joining such an extraordinary museum community and to be creating the Museum in a city that has a long tradition of embracing the arts and architecture.”
“George Lucas has revolutionized the art of storytelling over the last four decades and we are honored to be the recipient of this incredible legacy investment that will allow everyone to learn about and experience narrative arts,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Like Marshall Field, John G. Shedd and Max Adler before him, George’s philanthropy will inspire and educate for generations. 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.”
The LMNA, previously known as the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, chose Chicago because of the quality of the site proposed by the city’s task force. The 17-acre site offers unparalleled visitor access. “Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the Museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in the Bay Area,” said Mr. Lucas, a native of Modesto, Ca. “I thank all Californians who reached out to me in support of the Museum.
The Museum’s location, proposed by a task force appointed by Mayor Emanuel, was selected based on its accessibility to public transportation, ease of access from all parts of the city, potential to create significant new green space, and its ability to accommodate an iconic structure. The LMNA will transform the site by moving the existing parking spaces underground and replacing acres of asphalt with more parkland along the harbor. Architectural renderings for the proposed site will be presented to the City of Chicago in early fall.
“It is a great privilege for the Museum to be a custodian of this cherished land,” said Mr. Lucas, who hopes to open the LMNA in 2018.
To learn more about the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and its collection visit us online at www.lucasmuseum.org.