“Star Wars” director George Lucas has officially abandoned plans to build his museum in Chicago.
The project was fiercely opposed by parks protection group Friends of the Park since the beginning. Unable to overcome this obstacle, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is now considering moving to California, the Chicago Tribune reports.
After having trouble finding a location for the museum, Mellody Hobson, chair of DreamWorks Animation’s board and Lucas’ wife, said that they began “seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago.” San Francisco was actually the first proposed location before they decided on Chicago, but the city rejected the project. Now the Bay Area city is competing with Los Angeles for the $1.5 billion project.
When Lucas landed on Chicago, the museum was originally supposed to be located on a lakefront site near Soldier Field, which currently houses a parking lot. Though it received all the necessary approvals, it was opposed by both Bears fans who want to use the parking lot for tailgating, and Friends of the Parks, which filed a lawsuit to block construction. After that, Lucas had landed on a site at McCormick Place, though funding for that location didn’t work out amid the state’s budget stalemate.
Reverend Leon Finney, pastor of the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church, is particularly disappointed by this loss. He told the Chicago Tribune, “To lose 4,000 construction jobs, 2,000 permanent jobs, where else are you going to get those in the Rust Belt?”