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Phil Matier: Lucas Downsizes Presidio Museum Proposal, But Is It Enough?

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Aerial view of The Presidio and the San Francisco Bay (Presidio Trust)

Aerial view of The Presidio and the San Francisco Bay (Presidio Trust)

Phil-Matier_BIO-HEAD Phil Matier
Whether it's politics, personalities or analysis Phil Matier is one ...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The Presidio Trust is looking over newly submitted plans for a highly-sought after plot of land in Crissy Field with one of the proposals backed by filmmaker George Lucas.

The Trust put off making a decision on who to give the go ahead to last fall and instead asked the three contenders to revise their proposals.

Lucas, wants to build a museum, but it remains to be seen if the new proposal fits in any better with what the Presidio wants.

Lucas is willing to pay for the whole nine yards for the construction, but the Presidio, a national park, had the most objections to his specific plans. Lucas’ museum would showcase his company’s illustrative and digital art.

Trustees of the park said the museum was too big. However he does have the support of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. The tech industry will back him too, but for now the park’s directors simply aren’t budging.

It really is a highly attractive and pristine area for tourists, many of whom recognize it as a nature preserve.

Even with Lucas’ scaled down, re-vamped proposal, he’s still seeing the same resistance from the Presidio Trust’s Board of Directors.

The pressure may be on, but Lucas has expressed that if San Francisco doesn’t accept his idea, then he’ll give it to Chicago.

Let’s not forget, aside from making movies, Lucas has a real thing for building. He’s got a virtual Winchester Mystery House up around his neck of the woods in San Anselmo. He’s also known for buying buildings and then just rehabbing them. Other times he’s purchased lots, torn down buildings and put in parks.

Some of the other proposals (one is by Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy) are more popular with the Presidio trust, but they simply don’t have the kinds of cash Lucas has to throw around. We’ll just have to wait and see who the force really is with on this in the next few weeks.

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