The Force Is Not With San Francisco – Lucas Museum Board Votes to Build in Los Angeles, Rejects Treasure Island Site
(BANT) – Despite heavy lobbying by Mayor Ed Lee and support from the Board
of Supervisors, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art board today voted to build
in Los Angeles instead of San Francisco.
The board opted for a seven-acre site in Los Angeles’s Exposition
Park over a location on Treasure Island.
“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 of
directors said in a statement. “Exposition Park is a magnet for the region
and accessible from all parts of the city.”
Mayor Ed Lee today said he was “disappointed” but proud of the way
the city worked together on the museum bid.
“Most of all, I am proud that our City came together like never
before to deliver a bold vision and thoroughly viable plan for the museum, in
an iconic location in the heart of the Bay Area, with 100 percent political
and community support,” Lee said.
The decision marks the third unsuccessful attempt to bring the
museum to San Francisco.
The Lucas museum had originally intended to develop a site in San
Francisco’s Presidio and worked with the Presidio Trust for more than four
years on plans to build near Crissy Field.
However, the Presidio Trust eventually turned those plans down in
2014, saying they were incompatible with the character of the site’s National
Historic Landmark status and national park setting.
Lee, who criticized the trust’s decision as “unwise,” then worked
with city and business leaders to propose an alternate site along the
Embarcadero for the museum.
The museum board instead chose in June of 2014 to go with an offer
from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but that site soon became bogged down in
litigation, causing the board to reconsider once again.
In the days leading up to today’s vote, Lee posted positive
statements about San Francisco’s museum bid on Twitter, including a shot of
himself with museum supporters on Treasure Island, with the words “The wisest
choice for the George Lucas Museum, San Francisco is.”