George Lucas chooses Chicago for new museum

Lucas, Hobson and Emanuel. City of Chicago photo from December 2013.

In spite of Mayor Eric Garcetti's push behind a social media campaign for Los Angeles, the new George Lucas museum will be built in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.

A vote by the museum’s board, which would make the decision official, is expected Wednesday. The board also is expected to change the name of the museum from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts.

Pending approval of the Chicago Plan Commission, Lucas' institution would be located on parking lots between Soldier Field and McCormick Place and would open in 2018. Architectural renderings will be presented to city officials in early fall, according to a statement ffrom the museum.

The museum will house a collection that includes valuable Norman Rockwell paintings, examples of the Hollywood special effects he pioneered at Industrial Light & Magic, and memorabilia such as a scale model of the Millennium Falcon, the fictional spacecraft commanded by Han Solo.

The decision to select Chicago reflects both a bungling of the billionaire’s legacy project by national park officials in San Francisco as well as an aggressive lobbying effort by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Lucas's wife Mellody Hobson is also from Chicago. Lucas has worked mostly in Marin County and is from Modesto in the San Joaquin Valley.

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