Northern Californian Filmmaker George Lucas has been offered 2.3 acres of land for a new museum by the Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee. The land would be used for Lucas to develop an arts and cultural museum on prime waterfront property right near the Oakland Bay Bridge and AT&T park. A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office broke the story to the press on Friday.
The museum would house Lucas’ personal collection which includes fine art work from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. The famed filmmaker has also amassed a collection of children’s art, as well as a collection of digital animation. The offer was official sent to Lucas on Thursday. Chicago is also vying for Lucas’ art museum.
Intentions to build a museum at a different location in San Francisco fell through for Lucas after discovered the area was protected via a land trust that would prevent land development. After Lucas’ failure to obtain the land, Mayor Lee formed a committee to locate a new site for the museum. Not long after, Chicago began to court Lucas with offers to build his museum on a 17-acre site. The Chicago offer knocked San Francisco out of the running. As a result, George Lucas received this latest offer of land for his museum from the San Francisco mayor on Thursday. The San Francisco lot is known as Seawall Lot 330.
The 17-acre Chicago lot is located near the town’s convention center and Soldier Field. In countering the Chicago offer, Mayor Lee made an official land offer to Lucas, boasting of San Francisco’s more climate friendly, sunny environment and prime cultural location. The 2.3 acre site offers skyline views and views of the Bay Bridge. The San Francisco proposal also offers Lucas the option of combining the Seawall Lot 330 with Piers 30-32, better known as The Embarcadero.
Lee’s offer to the Lucas team asserted that should he take them up on the Pier 30-32 offer, that he would be instrumental in revitalizing the current decay of the piers and their parking facilities. He noted that the Lucas museum would serve in transforming the area into an outstanding open public space with an attractive waterfront educational institution. He assured that in choosing San Francisco over Chicago, that the San Francisco team would make sure to maintain a strong working partnership between the Lucas team and the city of San Francisco, from the environmental review process to the construction process and to opening day.
Both locations have their fair share of pros and cons for 69-year-old Lucas. The San Francisco site has beautiful views, but it is also much smaller than the 17-acre Chicago property. However, the San Francisco location would not be hindered by the congestion that is produced at the Chicago location which neighbors Soldier Field and McCormack Place.
Lucas is married to Chicago native Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, and has made Chicago a second home. However, San Francisco boasts a strong bond with Lucas. His Skywalker Ranch is located in Marin County, California, and he has a history of making films in that region.
Since George Lucas has been offered the land for his art museum by the San Francisco mayor, spokesman Davide Perry issued a statement for the Lucas team. He said they would like to again express their appreciation to the mayors of the city of San Francisco and the city of Chicago for their support of The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, and the educational opportunities that they envision for the city and its youth population. He noted that they will not speculate on either of the properties that have been offered or the specific details, but that they were waiting to analyze all of the options that have been presented to date.
By Janet Walters Levite