George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson appear to have pulled the plug on plans for their museum in Chicago.
In a terse statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Hobson said: “From the beginning, this process has been co-opted and hijacked by a small special interest group.
“We are now seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago. If the museum is forced to leave, it will be because of the Friends of the Parks and that is no victory for anyone.”
The Friends of the Parks had filed a lawsuit, first challenging the original location for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art –a parking lot between McCormick Place and Solider Field.
Following the lawsuit, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered a compromise plan: Replace the aging McCormick Place Lakeside Center with the museum and 12 acres of new park land.
It would have required state lawmakers and the governor to authorize a series of tax hikes, as well as $1.2 billion in new borrowing for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which runs McCormick Place.
Friends of the Parks didn’t like that plan, either.
The group wanted the city to investigate other possible sites off the lakefront – including the vacant Michael Reese Hospital property, a location west of Lake Shore Drive across from the original proposed Lucas Museum site, or a 28-acre truck marshalling yard just east of the Reese site.