CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Emanuel says he endorses a recommendation that would give a museum created by movie giant George Lucas on some prime Lakefront real estate near Soldier Field, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
The task force of a dozen mayoral appointees says if the city lures George Lucas into building a museum of his artwork and memorabilia here, it should be located on what is now a parking lot near the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. The existing parking lot would be replaced with an underground garage.
Mayor Emanuel approves.
“Their recommendation is very thoughtful and a fitting site for the type of museum and educational partner the city of Chicago is looking for and would complete our museum campus, which is world-class and brings people from all over the world,” said Emanuel.
George Lucas is married to Chicago businesswoman Melody Hobson.
Chicago’s Chief convention recruiter, Don Welsh described the reaction of travel agents.
“They said they’d literally charter planes to bring people to Chicago for this type of experience,” said Welsh.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the beautiful lakefront site is the reason one group was adamantly opposed it.
“We are very willing to work with people to look for alternative sites, for placing the museum but again love to have it here, but not there, not there east of Lake Shore Drive that is directly against the Lakefront Protection Ordinance,” said Cassandra Francis with the group Friends of the Parks.
Another group sure to scream bloody murder: Bears game day tailgaters, whose new underground spaces would not permit barbeques. A source close to the mayor says he’s prepared to negotiate with both tailgaters and Friends of the Parks, and that aside from the dollar a year lease for the land, no tax dollars would be spent.