Posts tagged with "Lucas Museum of Narrative Art":

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BREAKING: Los Angeles chosen as new site for MAD Architects’ Lucas Museum

The Board of Directors for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts elected this afternoon to pursue Los Angeles as the latest site for their troubled museum proposal. The decision marks the third time the museum board has attempted to find a site for the $1 billion, MAD Architects-designed scheme. The firm's initial San Francisco proposal was rebuffed in 2015. The team made a try for a site in Chicago, only to scrap the plans in the face of fierce opposition to the project by a local community group known as Friends of The Park. Instead, Los Angeles's Exposition Park, home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, California African American Museum, California Science Center, and the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles County will now potentially host Lucas's namesake museum. The Los Angeles proposal was selected after the museum team made parallel pitches for a second site on San Francisco's Treasure Island and one in L.A.'s Exposition Park. The new museum, if built, will be located along the city’s Expo Line light rail line, within proximity of the forthcoming Gensler-designed Los Angeles Football Club soccer stadium, and would cap a park already brimming with global cultural and entertainment destinations. In announcing their decision, the Lucas Foundation's board of directors extolled the virtues of the urban park and its surrounding neighborhood, saying, "While each location offers many unique and wonderful attributes, South Los Angeles’s Promise Zone best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship." In an effort to preserve the green spaces of the park, the selected scheme will include public open space on its rooftop. Renderings for the proposal show the curvaceous museum located in a leafy, park setting topped with tufts of greenery. The museum also appears to gingerly touch the ground by coming down in a series of large, discrete piers. It's still unclear what sorts of developmental hurdles the museum will need to surpass prior to start construction, but the project clearly has a fan in L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, who after learning of the decision, remarked to the Los Angeles Times, “It’s a natural place to have this museum in the creative capital of the world and in the geographic center of the city. It’s a banner day for L.A.”
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BREAKING: MAD Architects reveals alternate proposals for Lucas Museum in San Francisco and Los Angeles

Weeks after dropping a long-stalled bid for a Chicago location, MAD Architects and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art have released a collection of renderings for competing schemes aimed at finding the wandering, proposed museum a welcoming home in either Los Angeles or San Francisco. The firm’s proposal for the Chicago location was scrapped earlier this summer after fierce community opposition to the project, to be located on a coveted site along the city’s waterfront in Grant Park. Despite strong support from the city's political class, the $700-million scheme, reminiscent of a futuristic, pitched tent, was ultimately killed by a lawsuit filed by the local community group known as Friends of The Park. The new proposals, being shopped simultaneously between California’s two largest cities, are being presented as pedestrian-friendly, public spaces for each respective city. Both are arranged with expansive second-floor gallery and exhibition spaces that are lifted up on massive piers that allow for park and pedestrian areas to stretch underneath each complex. Each would be 265,000 and 275,000 square feet of overall interior space, with roughly 100,000 square feet of that dedicated toward gallery functions. The Los Angeles Times states that the overall project cost, including a future endowment for the museum, could potentially top $1 billion.  The San Francisco proposal for is being pitched for the city’s Treasure Island and is being incorporated into the SOM-designed master plan for the island community’s waterfront. The building’s rigid-looking exterior skin, punctured by two expanses of glass swoops, culminates in what—based on renderings released by the firm—appears to be a large auditorium space. Aside from the wavy building, these renderings also depict the building’s surrounding ground floor areas as being hardscaped plaza with pedestrian connections to the surrounding waterfront areas. The Los Angeles proposal, on the other hand, would be located in the city’s University of Southern California-adjacent Exposition Park. Located along the city’s Expo Line light rail line and within proximity of the forthcoming Gensler-designed Los Angeles Football Club soccer stadium, the proposal would cap the slew of other cultural and entertainment destinations in the park. Despite the light rail proximity, the scheme includes a 1,800-spot underground parking garage that the San Francisco locale does not. Also unlike the San Francisco proposal, the Los Angeles scheme would include public open space on its rooftop. Renderings for the proposal show the museum located in a leafy, park setting with people lounging on the knolls surrounding the structure. For now, as always, the schemes continue to be just that: hopeful proposals. Time will tell if one or the other scheme gets selected for either city and, more importantly, if one eventually gets built. A decision regarding the location is expected to be made within the next two- to four-months.
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What could have been: OMA’s proposal for Chicago’s Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

  International firm OMA submitted a design for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago. Though the project has fallen through (Michael Sorkin wants to keep it in Chicago, but move it farther South), and the museum was to be designed by New York studio MAD Architects, the original OMA proposal has now been released. The Lucas Museum aimed to showcase the the art of storytelling though various collections including digital art, multi-media displays, and illustrations, all alongside educational programs. Opposition from public advocacy group Friends of the Parks stopped the museum's realization; now Lucas will try to bring his proposal back to California, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Lucas Museum aimed to showcase the the art of storytelling though various collections including digital art, multi-media displays, and illustrations, all alongside educational programs. Opposition from public advocacy group Friends of the Parks stopped the museum's realization; now Lucas will try to bring his proposal back to California, according to the Chicago Tribune.
OMA's submission, led by New York-based partner Shohei Shigematsu, made use of an ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) skin that formed pillows, wrapping around the building in a dome-like fashion. The fluorine-based polymer would aid the creation of an atrium and sky park that would make way for vertical gallery spaces. Light would permeate through the membrane while the structure would take on an easily identifiable form. In articulating the gallery space in such a way, space underneath could also be used for a new urban park that would amplify the building's blurring of open and closed spaces. In addition to this, the building would also house a theater and a series of lecture halls that would be accommodated at the base of the building. Aside from letting light in, the building's ETFE skin would also serve as a canvas for projections, turning the park below into an outdoor cinema.
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Michael Sorkin urges Lucas Museum to stay in Chicago and revitalize the city’s South Side

On June 24, George Lucas decided to move his proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts from Chicago. (You can read our full coverage of the Museum's saga, which began in San Francisco, here.) New York-based architect Michael Sorkin has penned a letter to George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson urging the museum to stay in Chicago but in inhabit a site south of the city and formerly used by U.S. Steel. A full copy of that letter, and its accompanying images, appears below: Dear George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, Come back to Chicago! In no other city will your museum provide remotely comparable stimulus and balm. While I was a supporter of your original site and an enthusiast for the design, I’m writing urgently with a suggestion for another location that could solve many problems for both you and for the City of Chicago, yielding a far superior result. It’s the 600 acres formerly occupied by U.S. Steel, jutting magnificently into the lake, engaging panoramic views to the Loop, bounded by Lake Shore Drive, and served by METRA. More, it is completely clear and ready to build. No need to tear down a huge building, no need to back away from the lake, no need to take park land, no need to cram into an over- crowded architectural zoo! As you surely know, a highly ambitious—and highly expensive—plan to build an enormous residential and commercial project (which briefly offered a site for the Obama Library) was, after years of effort, abandoned in March and the site is again orphaned: we see this as divine serendipity! Following this failed effort to develop the site in collaboration with McCaffery Interests, U.S. Steel (their stock is tanking and they have no interest in acting directly as developers) is doubtless eager to be rid of the place and some quick and creative collaboration could yield remarkable results—results that can be realized far faster than starting out afresh on the west coast, risking further delays. Here are some reasons a return to Chicago makes such compelling sense: 1. Your museum can inspire a new institutional and public cluster on the far south side of Chicago to rival the crowded complex in which you’d hoped to build and add a gleaming new pearl in the city’s civic necklace. 2. Your museum can be the fulcrum for a dramatic increase in the space of the city’s parks, leveraging as many as 300 additional acres of waterfront green space. 3. Your museum could go miles in addressing the abiding north-south split that so diminishes Chicago’s aspirations to equity and social justice and in affirming your well-known commitment to bettering the lives of the city’s poor and people of color. 4. Your museum could catalyze an enormous transformation in the quality of life for nearby neighborhoods starved for educational, cultural, environmental, and economic development. 5. Your museum could be a beacon and a symbol, a phoenix rising above a wasteland. Indeed, this would be far better than trying to squeeze in among an already dense and disparate group of buildings that will only compromise the power of its vision and originality. Here’s a scenario: 1. The City of Chicago acquires the northern portion of the site from U.S. Steel. This might happen through purchase, condemnation, or—best of all—through donation by a corporation for which the land now represents more of a burden than an asset. 2. The City of Chicago commits to the development of an extensive enlargement of its park system with a design that combines local needs with a great South Side Chicago Community Art Park. 3. The City of Chicago—or you yourself—facilitates the operation of a new transit system: a fantastic fleet of Millennium Ferries linking Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the Museum Campus, the South Shore Cultural Center, and the great new South Side Chicago Community Art Park. What an attraction! What a unifier! 4. A task force comprised of municipal, institutional, civic, and community organizations plans for and array of synergistic institutions to cluster with the Lucas Museum, including (for starters) a South Chicago Community Center of Narrative Arts, an amazing lakeside amphitheater (Yo Kanye!), an enlarged South Shore Cultural Center, a Railway Museum, The Mellody Hobson Institute of Environmental Research and Technology as part of a reinvigorated Chicago State University, an all-weather amusement park, and a renewable energy complex drawn from the valuable work done as part of the McCaffrey proposal. 5. You build your project according to its original design. It will look so much better here, offer excellent access to an enlarged constituency of visitors—coming from north, south, and west—and do so much more good. 6. With this recreational, athletic, educational, environmental, and cultural complex assured, the attractiveness of the southern portion of the larger site for development will surely re-emerge, providing further resources for the community and an enlarged tax base for the city to support its parks, schools, and infrastructure. I’m writing you because of my deep admiration for the desire you both have expressed to make your museum extremely accessible, especially to those communities who have been so ignored by traditional cultural institutions. By building your project on this waiting site in South Chicago you will dramatically assert this principle of inclusion in the strongest terms and offer this neglected part of the city tremendous dignity and the opportunity to create its own narratives. And, such a move can catalyze a true people’s campus and park, a complex of sympathetic and galvanizing landscapes and institutions that will create authentic pride of place for so many who feel they’ve simply been left out. We are more than ready to help make such a plan. In fact, we’ve taken the liberty of sketching something of what this might look like. Please be generous and bold! Take this opportunity to return to Chicago with a determination both to build a superb museum and to make a transformative contribution to a city I know you both deeply love. We stand ready to offer any further assistance—and encouragement—you may require! Yours Sincerely, Michael Sorkin President, Terreform (501(c)3)
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Friends of the Parks called “gang” by South Side Chicago priest

Chicago’s Father Michael Pfleger has never been afraid to say what is on his mind. With the announcement of Chicago’s loss of the Lucas Museum, Fr. Pfleger had some harsh words for the Friends of the Parks. Taking to Facebook and Twitter Fr.Pfleger called the group an “elitist GANG.” When asked to elaborate by DNA Info, Fr. Pfleger doubled down on his remarks saying, "Let’s call them what they are: They’re a gang of self-righteous elitist people.... Tell me the difference between Friends of the Parks and the Gangster Disciples?” His remarks have set off a firestorm in local and social media. Though few would argue Fr. Pfleger’s knowledge of South Side violence gangs, the remarks go far to highlight the divisive passion surrounding the Lucas Museum project.
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George Lucas cancels plans to build museum in Chicago

The long battle is over. George Lucas has decided to take his proposed Museum of Narrative Arts out of Chicago. The announcement came after the project was held hostage by a lawsuit leveled by public space advocacy group, Friends of the Parks. Lucas will once again look to California to build his $700 million museum. “Despite widespread support of the project from Chicago’s cultural, business, labor, faith and community leaders and the public,’ remarked Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement released on Friday, “a legal challenge filed by Friends of the Parks threatened to derail this once-in-a-generation opportunity. We tried to find common ground to resolve the lawsuit – the sole barrier preventing the start of the museum’s construction.” The announcement does not come as a big surprise to most in Chicago. In the last week Friends of the Parks released a list of demands that included taking 5% of the museums revenues for a parks fund, and a moratorium on any building on the lakefront for the next 100 years. Some have called the list a form of extortion, and few believed the city would cave to the demands. The 300,000-square-foot museum was designed by MAD Architects. The MAD design is the second design for the museum, which was originally planned to be built in San Francisco. The Friends of the Park took greatest issue with the location of the museum on the lakefront, which they believed violated the public trust doctrine. The use of the lakefront in Chicago is often a point of contention. Very few projects have been built on the lakefront since it was formed when the burnt remains of the city were pushed into the lake after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Despite this, other museums including the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and the Adler Planetarium, where privately built along the lakefront over the last 100 years.
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If Chicago loses the Lucas Museum, its next Biennale may focus on local work

Early conversations surrounding the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial indicate that the second iteration of the exposition will be looking to more regional sources for content. With the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art likely moving out, and Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism marketing organization, running into major economic issues, Chicago is looking to make a big statement to maintain its reputation as a contemporary architecture destination.

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

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. 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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Breaking: Friends of the Parks may drop lawsuit over Lucas Museum in Chicago

According to a report by the Chicago Sun Times, public space advocacy group Friends of the Parks (FOTP) has voted to drop the lawsuit against the City of Chicago blocking the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts. The Sun Times quotes a “highly placed source” as saying the board voted to restart negotiations to “move forward with the Lucas Museum.” The Sun-Times also reported this week that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was attempting to persuade FOTP to drop the lawsuit by supporting one of the groups other projects—the “Last Four Miles." This proposal would expand access to lake Michigan by turning more of the Lakefront into public land.
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Chicago battles to keep George Lucas from moving his Museum of Narrative Art elsewhere

The saga of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is nothing less than epic. The proposed museum has had the distinction of raising (or lowering) the dialogue of an architectural project to the level of personal attacks and federal court hearings in two cities. The project’s first proposed location on public land in San Francisco fell through when the city refused to lease the land to the would-be private museum. That was over two years ago. The next proposal was a complete 180-degree turn with a new design and location on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Since that proposal, the road has been anything but smooth, and now the entire project is threatening to move to another city, once again.

The first obstacle the project faced was the court of public opinion. Designed by the Beijing-based MAD Architects, the original iteration of the project was called “needlessly massive” and “jarringly off-key” by Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, and “defacing the city’s lakefront as much as any teenager with a can of spray paint” by Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago. That is not is to say that the museum has not had its proponents. Most notably, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been outspoken in his support of bringing and keeping the museum in Chicago. (Many would say to a fault.) Other public figures have spoken in favor of the museum, including Civil Rights advocates Father Michael Pfleger and Reverend Jesse Jackson.

As MAD’s design developed, the building shrank in size and a more landscaped park by Chicago-based Studio Gang was added. This went a long way in appeasing those skeptical of the project, but it would not be enough to avoid the wrath of the museum’s most vocal opponent, Friends of the Parks (FOTP). The nonprofit public space advocacy group has taken its grievances to court, and so far has seen some success. In February, a federal judge agreed to hear the case, rejecting the city’s appeal to have it dismissed. FOTP’s argument is based on the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, which restricts and regulates building on lakefront. The ordinance states that its purpose is “To insure that the lakefront parks and the lake itself are devoted only to public purposes and to insure the integrity of and expand the quantity and quality of the lakefront parks.” The city argues that as the project has been approved by the Building Commission, the body that maintains the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, the project should be allowed to move forward.

In a response to FOTP’s lawsuit, advocates for the museum point out that the museum is planned to take the place of a 1,500-car parking lot for the NFL’s Soldier Field. This has led to an oft-repeated ad hominem nickname, Friends of the Parking (Lot). It has also been argued that all of the other museums along the lakefront, just north of the proposed site, are privately owned and run. These include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium—all of which have notably been started with private investment from individuals.

Now entrenched in a slow-moving legal battle, the 71-year-old George Lucas is getting anxious to begin building. With construction originally slated to begin in early 2016, and completion expected in 2018, a protracted court case is making the original plan unlikely. In what is being described as a last ditch Hail Mary to keep the museum from moving to yet another city, Mayor Emanuel announced an alternative location mid-April. The new plan calls for the demolition of the Gene Summers and Helmut Jahn–designed McCormick Place Lakeside Center. The much-derided modernist convention center is part of the larger McCormick Place Convention Center and has a lease for the lakefront location through 2042. Part of the appeal of the original proposal was that Lucas was going to cover the $750 million cost out of his own pocket. It is estimated that demolishing Lakeside Center and moving the convention space into a new space would cost an additional $1.2 billion. This would involve some fancy finance work, the extension of a handful of taxes currently due to expire, and the involvement of the state legislator. If only for the reason that the Illinois state government is intractably locked in partisan gridlock, unable to make any financial decisions, most are calling this plan a long shot.

Shortly after the new site was proposed, FOTP announced that they would oppose any building on the lakefront, even if it was on the current site of the McCormick Place. In response, Mellody Hobson, a native Chicagoan and wife of George Lucas, released a statement blasting FOTP and announcing the couple was actively searching for new sites outside of Chicago. She closed the statement with, “If the museum is forced to leave, it will be because of the Friends of the Parks and that is no victory for anyone.” 

Subsequently, the City of Chicago requested that the FOTP lawsuit be thrown out by a federal appeals court on emergency grounds. The city is arguing that the normal appeals process would take too long, and the museum would most likely be relocated before the matter could be settled. 

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Prominent Chicago figure has no love for Lucas Museum opposition

Father Michael Pfleger, the outspoken and often controversial South Side Chicago priest, took to Facebook to criticize nonprofit Friends of the Parks for attempting to stop the construction of the MAD-designed lakefront Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

In his post he wrote, “Who Are ‘Friends of the Parks’? Years ago they fought against the Chicago Children’s Museum, now they are fighting against turning a parking lot into the George Lucas Museum, which will bring HUNDREDS of jobs in building and operations...all at his own expense! But, who are they? Who is their board, how diverse is it? Where do they live? How many on their board from the South and West Sides????? WHO ARE THEY????”

[Note: the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art may be moving farther south on the lakefront; read more here.]

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McCormick Place Lakeside Center demolition proposed to keep Lucas Museum in Chicago

In the latest chapter of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts’ saga, a proposal has been put forward to tear down the McCormick Place Lakeside Center to make room for the MAD-designed museum. The Lucas Museum is currently tied up in a legal battle with Friends of the Parks, a public space advocacy group, despite being approved by the city. In a desperate attempt to stop the museum from once again moving its location to another city, the City of Chicago expressed its support of a plan that would replace the Gene Summers and Helmut Jahn-designed McCormick Place Lakeside Center. The 1971 McCormick Place Lakeside Center is located just south of the Soldier Field parking lot, the site that the museum was originally going to replace. The Lakeside Center is noted for having the larges space frame roof in the world, a feat that allows for its mostly uninterrupted interior. The plan to demolish the Lakeside Center is backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as well as Chicago Tribune Architecture Critic Blare Kamin. In an October article Kamin referred to the building as the “shorline’s Berlin Wall.” Among other concerns, what has not been made clear by the city is where a new convention space would be built to replace the Lakeside center, or who would pay for it. Friends of the Parks has not yet made a statement on whether they would continue to challenge the museum’s placement if it was to move to the Lakeside Center site.