George Lucas Plans $1B Museum for Chicago

Will house art collection, film posters, and more

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 25, 2014 1:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Chicago will soon be home George Lucas' collection of art, film memorabilia, animation, and more—though the city wasn't necessarily Lucas' first choice for his private museum. The filmmaker proposed a $700 million plan earlier this year to build the museum in San Francisco, but his chosen bayside location was rejected, the New York Times reports. The city's Presidio Trust suggested he put the museum near his former film studio. Instead, he opted for Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel had battled to win the museum for the city, where Lucas lives part time; his wife is from Chicago.

"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 says. “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." The museum, set to open in 2018, will display items as varied as Norman Rockwell paintings, a Darth Vader suit, movie posters, and special-effects technology, the Tribune notes. The Chicago Sun-Times calls it a $1 billion project, noting that it will be built on the city's lakefront. (It's not the first time Lucas has had to retool a massive building project.)

Producer George Lucas speaks at the 2013 Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
This June 16, 2013 file photo shows producer George Lucas, left, and his wife Mellody Hobson at The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills.   (AP Photo/Entertainment Fusion Group, Ryan Miller)
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