The Force is with Los Angeles.
George Lucas has selected L.A. over San Francisco to be home to his $1 billion museum, with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art set to feature pieces from the filmmaker’s personal collection, including memorabilia from Star Wars and other films, vintage photographs and an impressive selection of traditional paintings. The museum is eyeing a May 4, 2020 launch, according to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“After extensive due diligence and deliberation, the Board of Directors of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is pleased to announce plans to build the museum in Exposition Park in Los Angeles,” the museum’s board of directors said Tuesday in a statement. “We have been humbled by the overwhelmingly positive support we received from both San Francisco and Los Angeles during our selection process. Settling on a location proved to be an extremely difficult decision precisely because of the desirability of both sites and cities.”
Lucas’ Exposition Park Plan
Lucas had previously unveiled two different designs for his proposed Museum of Narrative Art, one for Los Angeles’ Exposition Park and a similar proposal for the same museum to be built on San Francisco’s Treasure Island. At one point, Chicago also was in the running, but those plans were scrapped in June after it faced opposition from a local preservation group called Friends of the Parks.
Garcetti thanked Lucas and his wife, businesswoman Mellody Hobson, for selecting L.A.
“They have a vision that museums should not be foreboding places, but should be welcoming,” Garcetti said during a press conference at City Hall.
He also noted “this is not a Star Wars museum” (though it will have items from a galaxy far, far away).
“This is a collection of narrative art in a city that has the best storytellers and storymakers in the world,” Garcetti said. “The best collection of Norman Rockwell paintings on Earth. Works from R. Crumb.”
Garcetti gave credit to Jeffrey Katzenberg, calling the former DreamWorks CEO founder his “wingman on this,” who quietly pushed behind the scenes to make it happen.
The futuristic design for the museum comes from Chinese architect Ma Yansong. The museum’s supporters have said will bring 1,500 construction jobs to the city as well as an additional 350 permanent jobs.