Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lucas Museum: Not Dead Yet?

Buried deep in the Sunday Trib, in the  business section, is a Front Page story from Melissa Harris

The proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which has practiced a bunkered omertà for the past nine months as controversy swirls all around it, may be stirring.  Harris reports that architect Ma Yansong "remains at work on more detailed drawings, which may include meaningful revisions . . . " 

For that sentence to be anything more than an empty PR holding action, what's needed now is not, as Harris proposes, a call from George Lucas to Mike Madigan.  That kind of backroom, insider horse trading is what got the museum in trouble in the first place.  What's needed is transparency and public engagement. 

When a job is at risk, architects can make coherent revisions to their concepts and renderings overnight.  After a nine-month disappearing act, the "remains at work" statement fed to Harris sounds less like a world-class architect than a high school student buying time to finish an overdue term paper.   While Friends of the Parks, Blair Kamin, and various other opponents hell-bent on running Lucas's project out of town remain formidable opponents, at this point, the Lucas Museum remains its own worse enemy.
Above is a photograph of the parking lot museum these opponents are battling to protect.  I hope to be writing an update on that effort - and its implications for Chicago, its lakefront, and its role in world architecture - soon.  For now, since little has changed from last July other than the overheating of the rhetoric, my original post provides a thorough overview of the potential, pitfalls and controversies of bringing the Lucas Museum to Chicago.

The Heresy: Why Chicago Should Welcome the George Lucas Museum

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Build it. Friends of the parking lots have lost their minds.