George Lucas can’t resist the gravitational pull of the Windy City. Indeed, Chicago has emerged the winner of a three-way battle with San Francisco and Los Angeles over which city would be home to the legendary filmmaker’s museum of art and movie memorabilia.
Chicago’s lakefront museum campus will house the new $1 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on a 17-acre site located on parking lots between Soldier Field and McCormick Place.
« 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 », Lucas said.
The museum, which is previewed to open in 2018, is completely self-funded; will be built, funded and endowed by Lucas; and has been described as a « history of storytelling » project « dedicated to the power of the visual image » as well as the world’s largest interactive museum.
« 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,” added the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.
Lucas said he wanted his museum to be close to the water, enveloped by nature and centrally located. He talked about enhancing the green space around it by taking much of the museum parking underground.
The legendary filmmaker, who now lives part-time in the Windy City, has previously called Chicago his « second home« . He wed Chicagoan Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, in 2013.