Last month, a group of Edgewater residents advocating for the extension of Chicago’s open public lakefront parkland north of Hollywood Avenue to Devon released a set of renderings from local architectural firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill. Dubbed the "Edgewater Beachwalk," the largely un-funded plan represents part of a long-discussed initiative dubbed the "last four miles." Designed to see the final gaps in Chicago’s lakefront filled with parkland, the "last four miles" was reportedly in play as a bargaining chip in the last ditch and ultimately failed negotiations between the city and Friends of the Parks regarding the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art’s controversial lakefront location.
While any plans for the Star Wars filmmaker's museum in Chicago are dead, Edgewater Beach Group president Morry C. Matson has reached out to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson to help fund the Beachwalk, according to Edgeville Buzz. "The ‘working title’ (to use a cinematic term) for our small infrastructure project is Edgewater Beachwalk," Matson reportedly wrote to the Hollywood mogul in a letter. "With a sixty million dollar donation, it can easily be changed to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson Memorial Parkway. The majority of Chicago supports this plan, and you two would be heroes."
While the donation is less than one-tenth of what Lucas was prepared to give to Chicago for his museum, Mr. Lucas may not be in the mood to gift the Windy City any new parkland after Chicago’s most vocal parks advocacy group scuttled his precious legacy project. That said, even if Lucas takes the Edgewater Beach Group up on their offer, there are still a number of lakefront condominium owners who fiercely oppose the project and most likely have lawyers on speed dial.
- Edgewater Beach Walk Supporters Ask George Lucas To Help Fund The Project [Edgeville Buzz]
- Edgewater Group Pushes for New Lakefront Extension North of Hollywood [Curbed Chicago]
- Edgewater Beachwalk Chicago [Website]
- Edgewater archives [Curbed Chicago]