Chicago is making a serious bid to poach Bay Area-based filmmaker George Lucas’s proposed museum from the city of San Francisco, with mayor Rahm Emanuel proposing a waterfront site near the Soldier Field football stadium, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
As reported last week by artnet News, Chicago came forward with a proposal of its own after the Presidio Trust rejected the Star Wars director’s first choice for the museum’s location on San Francisco’s Crissy Field. Their offer places the museum near several other major cultural attractions: the Field Museum, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium.
“The site near Soldier Field would complete our museum campus, which is world-class and brings people from all over the world,” said Emanuel in a statement.
While the Chicago plan may seem enticing, San Francisco isn’t ready to throw in the towel. “We have some spectacular locations right here,” said Christine Falvey, a spokesperson for Mayor Ed Lee. “It’s too big a deal to let go. The mayor wants to put something very enticing in front of Mr. Lucas.”
San Francisco’s ongoing site selection effort will likely opt for a waterfront site such as Piers 30-32 or the parking lot directly across from them, Seawall Lot 330. Both would afford the fledgling museum spectacular views of the Bay Bridge. An official proposal is anticipated by month’s end.
Several failed development projects have been slated for the adjoining San Francisco lots over the years, including an unrealized arena for the Golden State Warriors.
Lucas will reportedly spend as much as $700 million building and endowing the museum. He will finalize his choice for the institution’s home sometime this summer.
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