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George Lucas has made his final decision regarding where to build the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, and it looks like Chicago has the honor. San Francisco and Los Angeles were also in the running but, in the end, the city that has become a second home to Lucas since his marriage to Chicago-based businesswoman Mellody Hobson won the day.

Lucas had this to say regarding the decision:

“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,” Lucas said in a statement.

A final vote will be taken by the museum board this Wednesday, making the decision official. The name of the museum will also be changed to the ‘Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.’

Factors that influenced the decision include Chicago being a bigger draw for tourists (46.37 million visitors in 2012, compared to 16.51 million for San Francisco), and the overall appeal of being located near the Museum Campus (which includes the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and the Adler Planetarium) on Chicago’s lakefront.

The museum would located on parking lots between Soldier Field and McCormick Place, with an opening date of 2018 – pending approval by the Chicago Plan Commission. Architectural plans will be submitted to the City this fall.

**UPDATE**

This official press release has been published on the museum’s website:

JUNE 24, 2014

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to Call Chicago Home

CHICAGO (June 24) – 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.

Sources: Chicago Tribune and Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Image from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum website.

Contact Lisa at lisad@coffeewithkenobi.com
Follow Lisa on Twitter @JediPug1

(On a personal note, Lisa says “WoooHooo!”)

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