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Chicago wins bid for George Lucas museum

Chicago will be home to the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Chicago will be home to the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas isn't just bringing Yoda and Chewbacca to Chicago, but a collection that ranges from Norman Rockwell paintings to digital art, movie animations costumes and more.



Lucas talked about the museum in a promotional video:

"Kids are able to do pictures and illustrations with digital art, so a museum that shows you how you can actually do it - which ultimately for me not having grown up with this whole thing - is amazing," said George Lucas, filmmaker.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel lobbied Lucas and his Chicago-based wife Melody Hobson for months. But Chicago's biggest boost came when San Francisco's bid fell apart - the National Park Service panned a proposal to place the museum in the Presidio.

"This is a milestone for our city," said Mayor Emanuel.

Emanuel plans to put it in parking lots south of Soldier Field, but he may have a court fight on his hands. Friends of the Parks and other organizations have vowed to fight the location, arguing it's a violation of the Lakefront Protection Ordinance which states there will be no further private development east of Lake Shore Drive.

The head of Friends of the Parks told Eyewitness News: "We are thrilled the Lucas museum is coming to Chicago but are prepared to do whatever it takes to oppose this site."

"When you add the new Lucas museum you have - plus Northerly Island - one of the most tremendous, vibrant and green museum campuses of any American city," said Emanuel.

ABC7's Ben Bradley asks: "The mayor would argue this is better than a parking lot?"

"The mayor can argue a lot of things but a parking lot can revert back to open space. The real question is how do we treat our lakefront? What are we going to do with our lakefront?" said Ald. Bob Fioretti, 2nd Ward.

Lucas hopes to open his museum in 2018.

The other question out there: where will Bears fans park if a museum is built here? The mayor says he has a plan but isn't ready to talk about publicly just yet.
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