(CBS) — Mayor Emanuel says the people of Chicago are the ones who came out on the losing end of the fight over the Lucas Museum, now that exasperated filmmaker George Lucas is taking the project to California.
WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports.
“The public by overwhelming majority wanted this here in the city of Chicago, overwhelmingly,” the mayor said Saturday at an unrelated appearance. “There was one group that wasn’t. We now have a parking lot as a city, as a result.”
Emanuel was referring to the Friends of the Parks, an organization that sought to block the museum from being built on Chicago’s lakefront, initially on the south end of Soldier Field. Its fight gained traction in federal court. The mayor sought a compromise with the group by suggesting McCormick Place East be torn down to make way, but the Friends of the Parks did not endorse that option.
Lucas this week announced he’s giving up on Chicago, hometown of his wife, Mellody Hobson.
Emanuel conceded there is no reprieve at this point.
“It’s over,” he said.
Emanuel stuck his neck out championing the museum without much luck from George Lucas himself, aside from an unprecedented amount of money, $750 million, for the somewhat ill-defined museum of narrative art.
Gov. Bruce Rauner also voiced his disappointment, during a different event Saturday.
“There was a wonderful family willing to donate over $700 million in what could have been a major tourist draw for the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago,” Rauner said at PrideFest at Navy Pier. “It would have generated more tax revenue, generated more economic opportunity and more jobs.”
Rauner said Chicago and the state of Illinois will continue to look for other ways to attract tourism and grow jobs.