Even though Chicago was chosen as the home for the George Lucas’ Museum of Narrative Art, it’s far from a sure thing. Legal challenges have put plans to go forward into limbo and, as a result, Lucas might have no other choice than to go elsewhere.
In a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, Lucas said ”The Museum Campus site offered by the City of Chicago is unparalleled and I am profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to work with the community to build a world-class institution focused on providing educational programming for all Chicagoans and for visitors from around the world.”
A spokesperson for the City of Chicago had this to say regarding the museum:
“There’s a reason other cities like LA and San Francisco were upset when George Lucas and Mellody Hobson chose Chicago for this major philanthropic gift, which will be a significant contribution to our museum campus and the educational and cultural offerings of our city. We look forward to a robust public process to discuss the museum’s potential to expand green space, create jobs and create a major educational asset for the city.”
Kate LeFurgy, a spokeswoman for George Lucas, said that they “remain committed and are focusing on Chicago.”
However, Friends of the Parks states that the proposed museum violates the Lakefront Protection Ordinance as well as the 1973 Lakefront Plan of Chicago. Both prohibit private development beyond what is already present at the location along Lake Shore Drive. The museum would be located on 17 acres of land that are currently home to parking lots between McCormick Place and Soldier Field.
The Friends have filed a suit on federal court, and a judge has ordered that the property not be altered while the action is pending.
The legal department for the City has called the legal claims made by the Friends of the Parks “baseless and defective on multiple grounds.”
Source: Chicago Sun-Times