"Star Wars” creator George Lucas has officially pulled out of building his science fiction museum in Chicago, saying in a statement Friday that a lawsuit filed by opponents of the plan had effectively ended any possibility of the project being built in the Windy City.
“No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot,” Lucas said in a statement.
Museum officials told the San Francisco Business Times on Friday that they are again looking at California for a location. A fuller statement is forthcoming.
Efforts by the city of Chicago to keep Lucas's proposed museum despite a fraught planning process that has included a battle in federal court over its waterfront location have now officially failed, with museum planners now saying they will seek another location.
The change in course came after a Chicago nonprofit, Friends of the Parks, which had brought the lawsuit, rejected a plan in early May to demolish a lakefront convention center to make room for the museum. Other sites they suggested were quickly rejected by the Lucas camp and brought a stinging rebuke from Mellody Hobson, Lucas's wife and a prominent Chicago businesswoman.
Lucas originally wanted to place his proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in the Presidio in San Francisco. When that plan fell apart, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee offered a waterfront site that Lucas rejected. So the billionaire "Star Wars" creator took plans for the $700 million cultural museum to Chicago, his wife's hometown.