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Design Team Selected For Chicago's George Lucas Museum

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Filmmaker George Lucas announced Monday he has selected Chinese designer MAD Architects and Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects to design his Museum of Narrative Art on Chicago's museum campus, located along the city's lakefront. MAD will design the building and Gang its landscaping, in addition to a bridge linking the museum to Northerly Island, a nearby peninsula. 

Chicago-based VOA Associates will serve as executive architect on the $1-billion project.

“We are bringing together some of the top architects in the world to ensure that our museum experience begins long before a visitor ever enters the building,” Lucas indicated in a statement on Monday.  

Lucas, creator of the movies' “Star Wars” franchise, indicated in June he would site the museum in Chicago. Other cities contending for the project included Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Once completed, the museum will house exhibits ranging from “Star Wars” memorabilia to paintings by Norman Rockwell. It also will contain illustrations by Lucas and visual effects by Industrial Light and Magic, an Academy Award-winning company Lucas founded in 1975. 

Plans call for locating the museum on a 17-acre parking lot located between McCormick Place, Chicago's largest convention center, and Soldier Field, home to National Football League's Chicago Bears. Bears fans have voiced opposition to the site, complaining they will lose tailgating spots.

Open-space advocates, contending plans would violate ordinances protecting public space near Lake Michigan, have threatened to file a lawsuit to block the project.

Lucas hopes to open the museum in 2018. Design plans are due for release in November.

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