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Landing The Lucas Museum Represents A Giant Leap Towards Chicago's 2020 Tourism Goals

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MAD Architects

It's official: Chicago will become the home to George Lucas' $1 billion cultural institution. In just three months, the idea of a Lucas museum in Chicago went from an ambitious dream to a reality. Aptly dubbed the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, the new institution is slated to be built on 17 acres of publicly owned land south of Soldier Field, and once up and running is expected to bring in $2-$2.5 billion in tax revenue and tourist spending over its first ten years. The nod of approval from George Lucas signals a very important step towards Rahm Emanuel's ambitious goal of drawing 55 million tourists annually to the Windy City by 2020. In addition to the Riverwalk extension, the Northerly Island transformation, the creation of two new parks within Grant Park, the Navy Pier and McCormick Place redevelopment, and the city's new Lighting Framework Plan, the Lucas Museum will become a key piece in the city's new tourism draw. A future Obama Presidential Library would be the cherry on top.

The museum is expected to be completed and opened by 2018, which is in line with hitting big tourism targets by 2020. Last year, Chicago received a record 48 million total visitors, and the city expects the trend to continue. No word yet on exactly how many visitors the new Lucas Museum is expected to draw, however it is certainly safe to say that the prestigious institution will be an important destination for film and art buffs. Lucas, who plans to fund the entire project out of pocket, will store his vast Norman Rockwell collection, as well as props and memorabilia from his films in the new museum, which will be tucked away in the city's Museum Campus along with several other popular tourist destinations. San Francisco has previously been the top choice for the museum, but after rejecting three of the filmmaker's proposals, Lucas decided to give Chicago a chance. And so the force was indeed with Chicago, and the city is well on its way to becoming an even more premier tourist destination in North America. Now if only the city could use the force to help the Bulls make it all the way to another NBA championship.

[chart via Choose Chicago]

[graph via Choose Chicago]

[graph via Choose Chicago]

[graph via Choose Chicago]

·Sneed scoop: Chicago lands George Lucas Museum [Sun-Times]
·Chicago reels in George Lucas Museum [Crain's]
·Chicago wins George Lucas museum [Tribune]
·Previous Lucas Museum coverage [Curbed Chicago]