Lucas Museum Could Come to LA If Stymied in Chicago

George Lucas says his Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts could be built in LA on the USC campus if his efforts to build it in Chicago are frustrated reports the Los Angeles Times.

“We still have to get through some lawsuits and things in Chicago,” Lucas said during a recent phone call while promoting his upcoming animated feature, “Strange Magic.”

“Once we make it through, we’ll be on our way. But it’s still a possibility that Chicago will be unable to do it,” Lucas said….

“The advantage Los Angeles has is that it’s on the USC campus and I don’t have to go through all the rigmarole of years and years of trying to get past everything,” Lucas said. “That’s an advantage because I do want to get it done in my lifetime.”

Friends of the Parks sued the city of Chicago in November to block plans to lease a 17-acre lakefront site for a dollar a year where the museum could be constructed.

Friends of the Park has existed for several decades and serves to protect a decree by the 1836 Canal Commission that the area between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan, much of which was built on landfill be “Public Ground — Common to Remain Forever Open, Clear, and Free of Any Buildings, or Other Obstruction Whatever.” Several Illinois Supreme Court cases have supported the legislation which established this, although there have been a few building put up in opposition to it, such as the Museum campus and McCormick Place.

A federal judge ordered the site to be left unaltered pending his further orders, lest the city repeat past history, like its midnight demolition of Meigs Field.

The city filed a motion to dismiss the case in December. Friends of the Park filed a response on January 15 which says in part, “By cutting the General Assembly out of the decision, and failing to seek authorization from a body that is less self-interested in commercializing the lakefront, the defendants are rushing to impair a property interest without the ‘fundamental fairness’ that the (14th Amendment) requires.”

A federal judge is scheduled to rule on City Hall’s motions to dismiss February 26.

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