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George Lucas Abandons Plans For Chicago Museum

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Bay Area filmmaker and Star Wars creator George Lucas announced Friday he was abandoning plans to build an art museum on the Chicago lakefront and now focusing on a location in California.

Lucas initially planned to build the museum in San Francisco's Presidio or on Treasure Island, but he turned his attentions to Chicago after those plans got bogged down.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
An illustration showing a ground-level view of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

It appears a similar fate has befallen him in Chicago where his plans have been opposed by a group called the Friends of the Parks.

"No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot," Lucas said. "The actions initiated by Friends of Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government."

The location — a parking lot near Soldier Field — was originally selected by Chicago's Site Selection Task Force in May 2014 and subsequently approved by the City Council, Park District, Plan Commission, Department of Zoning, Illinois General Assembly and the governor.

When the city offered McCormick Place East as an alternative to the parking lot, Friends of the Parks announced plans to block consideration of that location as well as any lakefront site or park in Chicago.

While Lucas has said the museum will be located in California, he failed to reveal where in the state he was looking to build.

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