Los Angeles has been chosen by Star Wars creator George Lucas as the site of his upcoming Museum of Narrative Art.
The facility, which will house the film director's collection of popular art and movie memorabilia (from his own work as well as others'), was previously planned for San Francisco and then Chicago, but community activists in both of those cities objected to proposed building sites along their historic waterfronts.
When those plans fell through, two competing California-based proposals emerged—one for constructing the museum on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, the other for putting it in L.A.'s Exposition Park.
This week Lucas and company announced they're going with the latter spot, which, unlike the San Francisco location, is easy to get to via public transit; is situated near Lucas's alma mater, the University of Southern California; and is already home to several museums, including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California African American Museum.
Lucas plans to pump $1 billion into the museum, covering building costs and a $400 million endowment. In addition to potential tourism dollars, the city stands to gain tens of thousands of construction jobs and about a thousand permanent jobs once the place opens.
Plans call for an appropriately space-ship-like, 275,000-square-foot building designed by Chinese architect Ma Yansong. Inside, guests will be able to look at items from Lucas's 10,000-piece art collection, which includes paintings and illustrations by Norman Rockwell and R. Crumb, as well as mementos from Hollywood classics like Star Wars and The Ten Commandments.
Provided the L.A. proposal doesn't spark the same kind of negative community response as in Chicago and San Francisco, officials hope to break ground on the project by the end of the year and have the museum up and running in 2021.