The continuing saga of the proposed Lucas Museum in Chicago took a few interesting turns over the last 24 hours, where both opponents and fans of the project could reasonably claim to have "a new hope." For lakefront protection activists, the Friends of the Park, and those opposing construction on the contentious 17 acre lakefront site, a judge told the city to guarantee no immediate action would be taken. Invoking the specter of Mayor Daley's overnight Meigs Field power play, U.S. District Judge John Darrah told city lawyers they couldn't break ground without a court order.
For those supporting the location and controversial Ma Yansong design, no less than starchitect Frank Gehry has weighed in with a Tribune editorial, calling the initial critiques of the design "troubling" and, drawing on his own experiences getting called out for forward-thinking design, asks Chicagoans to not "dismiss it because it doesn't look like something you've never seen before." He also traces the evolution of many concepts center to Yansong's proposal, invoking Zaha Hadid's curvaceous structures, Mendelsohn's organic forms and the rooftops of the Malmo Concert Hall.
Granted, moving the site may make some of these issues moot, but it could be said both developments show how the debate can be framed with a very Chicago dichotomy. Do we follow our desire to embrace new architecture, what Gehry calls our history of supporting "innovative, forward-looking work," or our instinct to preserve and protect the lakefront?
·Judge orders city to leave proposed Lucas Museum site unaltered [Sun-Times]
·Frank Gehry defends Lucas Museum's novel design [Tribune]
·Judge: Don't rip up Lucas Museum site overnight [Crain's]
·The Battle Over the Lucas Museum is Just Beginning [Curbed Chicago]