The force is strong with Chicago.
After a fierce competition, the Windy City beat out San Francisco and Los Angeles with a winning bid to become the home of the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The $1 billion campus will cover 17 acres along Chicago's gorgeous lakefront; already home to such heavily visited attractions as the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium.
The decision is especially heartbreaking for the Bay Area, home to both LucasArts and the nearby Skywalker Ranch. “Building in Chicago is the right decision for the museum, but the Bay Area will always be my home," Lucas said in a statement. "I grew up here, made all my films here and raised my family in the Bay Area.”
During a news conference announcing the decision, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised Lucas and his filmmaking legacy, promising a museum unlike any other the world has ever seen.
“Like Marshall Field, John G. Shedd and Max Adler before him, George’s philanthropy will inspire and educate for generations. No other museum like this exists in the world, making it a tremendous educational, cultural and job creation asset for all Chicagoans, as well as an unparalleled draw for international tourists,” he added.
The museum will not only display props from many of Lucas' films (including "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones"), but also his extensive collection of artwork, including paintings by Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth. The entire installation will revolve around the "history of storytelling," with a goal of making the space the "world’s largest interactive museum."
In terms of architecture, Chicago is aiming to make the Lucas museum one of the greenest in the nation — with existing parking spaces moved underground and acres of asphalt ripped up and replaced with parkland along the harbor. In total, some 12 acres of new green space will be created by the project. According to the Chicago Tribune, all construction costs will be covered by Lucas, who also expects the museum to "accumulate a $400 million endowment over time."
Construction is expected to start later this year, with a completion date of 2018.
Watch Lucas discussing his goals of the new art museum with CBS below.
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