Galaxy of Concerns Surrounds Lucas Museum

A day after the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was awarded to Chicago, opposition is beginning to build.

Members of a group called Friends of the Parks are concerned that the proposed site near Soldier Field would violate the city's lakefront protection ordinance, and are willing to fight to keep that from happening.

"If it comes to it, we would file a lawsuit, and we are prepared to do that," group spokeswoman Cassandra Francis said.

Bears fans who might lose tailgating space before games have already voiced their disapproval, but Second Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti raised concerns Wednesday about the lack of public transportation going to the proposed site.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) believes it's a matter of priorities.

"We should be concerned about creating economic development in other parts of the city and be concerned about the open space issue as well," Waguespack said.

Supporters say the museum -- which will be stocked with $1 billion worth of memorabilia from George Lucas' private collection -- would generate more than $2 billion in tourist revenue for the city.

"The job creation, construction, is 1,500 jobs. Permanent, 400 to 500," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

Others also believe the museum is a no-brainer.

"This will be one of these types of facilities that would put Chicago on the map globally," said Don Welsh of Choose Chicago.

The museum will host more than 500,000 pieces of art and movie memorabilia from the "Star Wars" director's personal archives, including a full-scale model of the Millenium Falcon.

The proposal still needs to go through the Chicago Plan Commission, and the earliest it would open is 2018.

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