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After ditching Chicago, George Lucas unveils competing West Coast museum plans

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The Star Wars filmmaker and MAD Architects have released designs for both Los Angeles and San Francisco

Four months after officially announcing that Chicago was no longer being considered to host his namesake museum and collection of narrative artwork, billionaire filmmaker George Lucas is pursuing two separate plans in parallel. To ensure his legacy institution will be finally realized, the Star Wars creator has set his sights on both Los Angeles or San Fransisco.

With both new proposals, Lucas has again teamed up with MAD Architects to design his futuristic vision. The Beijing-based firm was also behind Chicago’s mountain-shaped proposal that first broke cover in 2014. That plan was abandoned in June after a legal challenge from the nonprofit Friends of the Parks advocacy group.

Los Angeles: Exposition Park

↑ Lucas’ plan for Los Angeles would see the museum built next to Memorial Coliseum in Exposition Park. The sleek, elongated building would contain roughly 100,000 square feet of exhibition space. The design elevates the majority of the structure’s bulk above the park to maximize park land below and features new green space on its roof. Below ground parking would be provided for approximately 1,800 vehicles.

San Francisco: Treasure Island

↑ Satisfying Mr. Lucas’ desire for a waterfront location (one of the biggest draws of the ill-fated Chicago site), the San Francisco plan would see the museum at Treasure Island—a manmade island near the Oakland Bay Bridge. Considerably more blob-like than the LA proposal, the Treasure Island design would tie into a master mixed-use redevelopment plan already in the works from architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

While the LA Times described the dual proposal approach as “unorthodox, even scattershot,” it’s clear Lucas and company have taken some lessons from the Chicago debacle. Lucas and his team proactively engaged the West Coast public by showing the kind of artwork that would be found in the museum. The move was clearly in response to criticism first faced in Chicago, where many believed the collection to be nothing more than kitschy Star Wars memorabilia.