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Amended plans for Lucas Museum of Narrative Art approved by city of Chicago

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Despite the best effort of green space advocates in the city of Chicago, George Lucas’s legacy project will go ahead after the legendary director’s Museum of Narrative Art was approved by the city council.

The project has come up against strong opposition from Friends of the Parks – the nonprofit group who tried to sue Lucas in an attempt to halt development on the Chicago waterfront – but in September, a judge ruled that the group had “no viable complaint” after amended plans by MAD Architects were presented as an alternative. Both sides are due back in court on 10 November, but the approval means the plans can now progress.

With the building reduced in size from 400,000sq ft (37,100sq m) to 300,000sq ft (27,900sq m), offering 200,000sq ft (18,615sq m) of new parkland for open space advocates, the museum will house George Lucas’s personal art collection, as well as providing temporary exhibition space for world-renowned artists and filmmakers. It features an open-air observation deck on the rooftop accessible for free via a ramp winding up the building's interior cone shape. The parkland will include an eco-park, garden, sand dune field and an event prairie to host art and film events.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was first unveiled in November last year after Star Wars creator, George Lucas selected Chicago over San Francisco and Los Angeles to be the museum’s home.

MAD Architects are acting as principal designers for the project, while Chicago-based Studio Gang is designing a bridge to connect the site to the nearby Northerly Island peninsula. In addition, VOA Associates, also of Chicago, will serve as the executive architect and lead the implementation of MAD’s design, while New York-based firm SCAPE is landscape architect. Construction is expected to start in Q1 2016, with a projected opening date of 2019.

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Despite the best effort of green space advocates in the city of Chicago, George Lucas’s legacy project will go ahead after the legendary director’s Museum of Narrative Art was approved by the city council.
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