George Lucas has selected the Windy City as the site for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which will contain the Star Wars creator's art and movie memorabilia. "I am humbled to be joining such an extraordinary museum community and to be creating the museum in a city that has a long tradition of embracing the arts," Lucas said in a statement. The film icon, whose writing and directing credits also include American Graffiti and the Indiana Jones series, hopes to open the museum in 2018.
Prior to settling on Chicago, Lucas had been courting Los Angeles and San Francisco as possible locations for the museum. The latter city is where Lucasfilm's visual effects division resides, but city officials rejected the director's proposed site near the Golden Gate Bridge.
In Chicago, the museum will occupy a prime spot on the city's lakefront, near the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. Associated Press suggests that part of Lucas' decision might be due to his wife, Mellody Hobson, hailing from Chicago and the city closing off Promontory Point on Lake Michigan for a party following the couple's 2013 wedding. A spokesperson for Lucas has also praised the city's commitment to culture, architecture, innovations and education – themes the museum would like to help promote.
"We are very disappointed to see Mr. Lucas go to Chicago," Sam Singer – a spokesman for the Presidio, a park on one side of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge – told AP. "The Presidio Trust turned down his concept for the main location, but we immediately offered him a second locale. He never responded back to our generous offer."