Supposedly retired filmmaker George Lucas has an extensive collection of art and film memorabilia, built up from his decades in the movie business. What he didn't have — until now — is somewhere to show that collection off to the public. Lucas has spent the last two years putting together plans for a museum that would house his treasures. Today, he announced that the center, known as the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, would be built in Chicago.
The location is something of a surprise. It was expected that San Francisco would be chosen as the museum's home by virtue of Lucas' close ties to the city: both Lucasarts and Industrial Light & Magic call the city's Presidio region home. Indeed, Lucas submitted plans to the Presidio Trust, which manages the area, last year. But the trust derailed Lucas' plans, offering him a smaller site than requested, despite support from many of the city's politicians.
The museum will cost $1 billion to build and open in 2018
San Francisco mayor Ed Lee made another attempt to lure Lucas to the city by offering him a space near the Bay Bridge, and previous mayors wrote letters to the filmmaker, but to no avail. Los Angeles also made efforts to tempt Lucas, but the Star Wars director, who lives in Chicago for some of the year, plumped for the Illinois city. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was reportedly set to announce the news on Thursday, but was beaten to the punch by The Chicago Sun-Times. The publication reports the lakefront project, which is expected to open in 2018, will be a $1 billion investment. Lucas' collection is said to include original Norman Rockwell paintings and scale models of Star Wars' spaceships.