George Lucas, the director of Star Wars, has decided to build his $1 billion museum in Chicago instead of San Francisco. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was going to announce the news on Thursday, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported it first.
Lucas has been planning to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art since he sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion in October 2012. The museum will contain Lucas’ artwork collection, costumes from Star Wars, and interactive exhibits.
?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 San Francisco,? said Lucas. ?I thank all Californians who reached out to me in support of the museum.?
Lucas was hoping to build it in the Presidio, San Francisco’s national park. It was backed by San Francisco politicians, but the plan was held back for a year and was held back by the Presidio Trust.
The Presidio Trust offered Lucas with a second and smaller site, which was not suitable for Lucas. Emanuel, a friend of Lucas and his Chicago-based wife Mellody Hobson, offered Lucas a 17-acre plot next to Chicago’s lakefront near other world-class museums.
San Francisco mayor Ed Lee offered Lucas another space by the bay on a pier by the Bay Bridge. Los Angeles offered Lucas with space also. Lucas lives in Chicago part-time with Hobson. The museum is expected to open in Chicago in 2018.