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The Battle Over the Lucas Museum is Just Beginning

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Now that every possible pun leveraging a Star Wars reference has been used to describe the recently unveiled design of the future Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts for the Museum Campus, the lakefront protection and advocacy group Friends of the Parks has made it clear that the museum proposal is no joking matter, as the group is suing the city to halt the project from moving forward at its planned location along the lakefront. After Lucas' museum plan was rejected by members of San Francisco's Presidio Trust earlier this year, the filmmaker then turned his focus to Chicago, which offered up 17 acres of city-owned land just south of Soldier Field for the museum and its surrounding landscape.

From the very beginning, it was clear that the museum was going to face some opposition, possibly leading to a full-on battle over the use of public land. However, according to the Tribune, the Friends of the Parks group has felt emboldened by the dissatisfaction over the recently unveiled renderings for the museum's design. Taking full advantage of the controversy that the design has caused, the organization is taking action now, citing the Lakefront Protection Ordinance of 1973 which prohibits private development along the city's lakefront. The debate will also no doubt become an important issue in the upcoming mayoral election.

We can't deny the fact that the prospect of having this new museum would still be a very exciting addition to the Museum Campus - both in generating tourism dollars but also for helping extend the Museum Campus further south. We also had great expectations for the design of the museum, however the design has only sparked the powder keg of opposition against the plan, and could ultimately lead the museum's undoing. The museum proposal is a very serious one on both sides, and no doubt, this new legal challenge will certainly change the tone of the discussion, and possibly the museum's eventual outcome.

·Parks group sues to keep Lucas museum off Chicago's lakefront [Tribune]
·Parks group to sue over lakefront site for Lucas Museum [Tribune]
·Harsh Trib Editorial: 'Lucas Museum Shouldn't Be On Lakefront' [Curbed Chicago]
·How the Lucas Museum Design Will Change Chicago's Lakefront [Curbed Chicago]