George Lucas Chooses Los Angeles for $1.5 Billion Museumby
Exposition Park will be site of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Joins Natural History Museum, Science Center near downtown
“Star Wars” creator George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson will build their $1.5 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles following a battle for the project with San Francisco.
The museum will be built in the Exposition Park area south of downtown, according to statements Tuesday from the museum board and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. It will house the director’s personal art collection, including works from Norman Rockwell and “Star Wars” memorabilia.
Exposition Park is already one of the city’s key cultural centers, as home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center and the California African American Museum.
“L.A. is gaining a new jewel,” Garcetti said in the statement. The addition of the Lucas museum will provide “unrivaled opportunities to be immersed in stories told on canvas and celluloid.”
Lucas, who sold his company Lucasfilm Ltd. to Walt Disney Co. in 2012, found enduring popularity with the “Star Wars” franchise. In retirement, he announced plans to build a museum to house his collection, offering to cover construction, an endowment and the value of the artwork, at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.
“While each location offers many unique and wonderful attributes, South Los Angeles’s Promise Zone best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship,” the museum board said in its statement.
Lucas shopped the museum across the country, and cities like San Francisco and Chicago were serious contenders.