SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Facing the possibility of losing a museum for George Lucas’ collections, an idea to place the museum at Piers 30-32 has gained support from two former San Francisco mayors.
San Francisco is currently in an all-out fight with Chicago over Lucas’ dream project. The “Star Wars” creator has spent years without any luck trying to build an art and digital museum at The Presidio.
“You’ve got George Lucas who wants to spend $700 million of his own money to build a world-class museum, and Chicago is putting on the full court press,” said San Francisco mayoral spokesperson Tony Winnicker.
Chicago may have an inside track. Lucas’ wife Mellody Hobson lives in the Windy City, which he now considers a second home.
In a recent radio interview, Lucas spokesperson David Perry was asked if the filmmaker was seriously considering Chicago. Perry responded, “You bet.”
Could this be a battle to get out of The Presidio? “If he was trying to play cities off one another, this would have been going on during the whole competition here in San Francisco,” Perry said.
If a museum won’t be at The Presidio, another location could be Piers 30-32. Those are the same piers the Golden State Warriors were going to build their arena on, until they ran into a buzz saw of opposition over its size. The Warriors are now looking to build an arena in Mission Bay.
“It’s a great option. I think that the size of the museum could fit very well there,” said Joe D’Alessandro of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Even former Mayor Art Agnos, who beat back the Warriors arena, said Lucas could be just the fit. “I think he has the capacity to create something magnificent at the waterfront,” Agnos told KPIX 5.
Former Mayor Willie Brown also supports a museum at the Piers. “We should have been moving earlier, we lost the 49ers because we didn’t have a vision,” he said.
Still, it’s a rare moment even when opposites like Willie Brown and Art Agnos agree.
“I think we win hands down if we put together a good proposal that not only makes sense for him but for our city, and that site has the potential,” Agnos said.
One challenged that has not changed is the price tag to shore up Piers 30-32, which is $200 million.