After more than a year of wrangling in the halls of justice and the court of public opinion, it’s finally official: Chicago has lost the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
The Hollywood director put out a statement this afternoon making it absolutely clear who is responsible for Chicago not getting his $700 million gift: The Friends of the Parks.
In light of extensive delays caused by FOTP, Chicago no longer will be considered a potential site.
Not surprisingly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pissed, and also laying blame at the feet of the Friends of the Parks.
…Despite our best efforts to negotiate a common solution that would keep this tremendous cultural and economic asset in Chicago, Friends of the Parks chose to instead negotiate with themselves while Lucas negotiated with cities on the West Coast.
You can read the Mayor’s complete statement below.
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL ON THE LUCAS MUSEUM OF NARRATIVE ART
“Two years ago to the day, George Lucas and Mellody Hobson announced that they had chosen Chicago as the site of their incredible legacy investment. The opportunity for a City to gain a brand new museum is rare, and this particular opportunity – a gift worth approximately $1.5 billion – would have been the largest philanthropic contribution in Chicago’s history.
Unfortunately, time has run out and the moment we’ve consistently warned about has arrived – Chicago’s loss will be another city’s gain. This missed opportunity has not only cost us what will be a world-class cultural institution, it has cost thousands of jobs for Chicago workers, millions of dollars in economic investment and countless educational opportunities for Chicago’s youth.
Despite widespread support of the project from Chicago’s cultural, business, labor, faith and community leaders and the public, a legal challenge filed by Friends of the Parks threatened to derail this once-in-a-generation opportunity.
We tried to find common ground to resolve the lawsuit – the sole barrier preventing the start of the museum’s construction. But despite our best efforts to negotiate a common solution that would keep this tremendous cultural and economic asset in Chicago, Friends of the Parks chose to instead negotiate with themselves while Lucas negotiated with cities on the West Coast.”
from Chicago Architecture http://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2016/06/24/lucas-leaves-lake-for-left-coast-park-pals-prevail/