George Lucas’s $1.5 Billion Museum of ‘Myths’ Gets Green Light From LA City Council

The Museum of Narrative Art, which is expected to generate $43 million in tax revenue and thousands of jobs, represents a major windfall for the city.

Filmmaking legend George Lucas. Photo: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images.

George Lucas’s Museum of Narrative Art has been unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council in a meeting on Tuesday morning.

The proposed museum will focus on the art of storytelling and is slated to showcase the Star Wars and Indiana Jones director’s extensive collection of paintings, illustrations, and movie memorabilia, according to Los Angeles Daily NewsMovie fans can look forward to displays from Lucas’s personal movie archives, including rare concept drawings and costume designs from the director’s, award-winning catalogue of movie hits.

“The job of narrative art is to build myths,” Lucas told the Daily News, adding that he hoped the museum will inspire younger generations and bring into focus the “concept of narrative,” which he said “has been forgotten.”

A rendering of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art design for Exposition Park in Los Angeles. Courtesy of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art/MAD Architects.

A rendering of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art design for Exposition Park in Los Angeles. Courtesy of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art/MAD Architects.

Lucas tapped Ma Yasong of MAD Architects to build the five-story, 300,000-square-foot building in LA’s Exposition Park on an 11-acre plot of land that will include a large garden and public park. The museum will also house theaters, classrooms and educational facilities, a public research library, a cafe and restaurant, and gift store.

The city council’s decision allows the $1.5 billion project to move forward and puts an end to Lucas’s eight-year quest to find a home for his museum. He originally sought to build the museum on San Francisco’s waterfront but faced opposition from the city’s Presidio Trust. He then set his sights on Chicago, his wife’s hometown. But he abandoned efforts to bring the museum there last summer after a two-year legal battle with preservationists.

The approval is being hailed as a big victory for the city and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who lobbied the filmmaker to pick LA over the other two cities.

An analysis by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation estimated that the museum could create over 6,000 jobs during construction, and 1,500 permanent positions. The study also projected $43.1 million in state and local tax revenue, plus ongoing annual economic output of $168.8 million.

Councilman Curren Price, whose district will be home to the museum, described the enormous investment as the “largest private gift in our state,” and perhaps even in “our nation’s history.”

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