Though it was largely seen as an exercise in Chicago rubber-stamp politics, there was an unusual level of anticipation and tension yesterday as the Chicago City Council gave its formal approval to the construction of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art on Chicago’s lakefront.
Several weeks after another online news outlet proclaimed the $700 million project received its “final” approval, the futuristic-looking project, intended to resemble dunes, received its final bureaucratic approval.
“The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be an incredible addition to Chicago’s Museum Campus,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Lucas Museum will join the 56 other museums in Chicago to provide new cultural and educational benefits for generations to come. And the new parkland will add more open greenspace that will be enjoyed by residents across the city.”
“We are very pleased with today’s approval by the City Council,” said Lucas Museum of Narrative Art President Don Bacigalupi. “The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be a tremendous educational and cultural amenity for all Chicagoans, and a major addition to the city’s vibrant and renowned artistic community. It will also deliver nearly 200,000 square feet of new green space and accessible parkland along the lakefront for all to enjoy. We are excited to move forward with the Museum’s construction.”
It remains to be seen if there will be any legal challenge from this point on. Previous actions by the city in regard to the Lucas Museum have been met with vocal opposition from the Friends of the Parks organization. But so far, the watchdog for lakefront greenspace has been uncharacteristically silent on the council’s vote, in spite of previously taking the issue to court.
The museum, itself, is being designed by MAD Architects in Beijing. Local talent Studio Gang will handle the landscape design.
The developer (officially the Chicago Park District) hopes to start digging in the Museum Campus next year, right about the same time the robins do.
For all the details about the museum, see our September 28, 2015 story Eviscerating the Tauntaun: Inside the Proposed Lucas Museum.