Dozens of Chicago citizens and probably all fans of Lucasfilm and Star Wars flocked on the public hearing that took place Wednesday to see a presentation and be “convinced” why the Lucas Cultural Museum of Art should find a permanent home in Chicago.
About 50 citizens interested in luring George Lucas’ collection of art and movie memorabilia to Chicago were present at the start of a Wednesday night public hearing of a task force trying to find a local site for the museum.
And the Galatic Empire seemed to be otherwise engaged, as no one had arrived in costume by the time the hearing began under the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome in an ornate hall at the Chicago Cultural Center.
“It would interesting to have this type of museum because to me it would be hard to find anything to rival it,” said Michael Howe of Chicago, a graphic designer and art school graduate, who was among the first to arrive for the public hearing. Chicago’s “not an entertainment (industry) city, compared with New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.”
The 12-member task force has until mid-May to recommend a site for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The site selected by Emanuel will then compete against at least one known site in San Francisco, where the Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator launched his career and spent most of his life, as well as sites in any other cities interested in landing the museum.
Chicago’s edge is that Lucas lives here part-time with his wife, Chicago native and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson.
“Northerly Island has been (under)utilized for far too long,” one online commenter wrote, according to city officials. “Situated nearby other major museums, it is a perfect location for the new museum.”