Ransom Note

Friends of the Parks lists demands for Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

Architecture Midwest Other
(Lucas Museum of Narrative Art)

There is a new twist in the story of the proposed MAD-designed Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts in Chicago. As reported by Crain’s Chicago, the public space advocacy group Friends of the Parks has outlined a list of demands of the city in order to move forward with the delayed project.

Friends of the Parks (FOTP) launched a lawsuit against the City of Chicago in order to stop the building of the Lucas Museum on public land along Lake Michigan’s shores. The ongoing federal suit has left the project in a state of limbo. With George Lucas anxious to move forward with the project, other cities are being considered for the Museum. The site of the museum had already been moved to Chicago from its original location in San Francisco after similar delays.

The Friends of the Parks cite the Illinois Public Trust Doctrine, which outlines the use of the lakefront, in their argument. The group had adamantly opposed any development east of Lake Shore Drive. Recent reports by the Chicago Sun-Times indicated that the stance of the group might be shifting. Now Crain’s has acquired a list of demands that would need to be fulfilled in order to move the project forward. This latest move by FOTP supports rumors that the city and the group are at least interested in negotiating.

McCormick Lake Front Center (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Architecture and the Arts/Flickr)

McCormick Lake Front Center (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Architecture and the Arts/Flickr)

Far from a simple list of compromises, the FOTP list calls for major legislation for the lakefront. The most significant demand includes a permanent lock on lakefront development for the next 100 years. Others deal directly with the Lucas museum. Most notably, the list stipulates that the museum be built on the current site of the McCormick Place Lakeside Center. The idea was first floated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in an effort to keep the museum in Chicago. Skeptics of the proposal point out that it would cost an additional $1.2 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money. The original proposal was to be paid in full by George Lucas. FOTP also demand the 5% of the museum’s revenues would be reserved in a fund for parks across the city.

With patience running out, many think that the fate of the museum is sealed. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco have expressed their interest in hosting the museum.

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