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Update: SF loses George Lucas museum to LA

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Mayor Ed Lee turns on the charm for Treasure Island site

A rendering of the Lucas Museum, a swooping silver building, on Treasure Island MAD Architects

[Update: And it’s over. The museum board announced late Tuesday that they prefer to build in LA, the home of Lucas’ Hollywood affairs, rather than in San Francisco, his creative muse and neighbor to his own home.

The statement reads:

“After extensive due diligence and deliberation, the Board of Directors of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is pleased to announce plans to build the museum in Exposition Park in Los Angeles.

“We have been humbled by the overwhelmingly positive support we received from both San Francisco and Los Angeles during our selection process. Settling on a location proved to be an extremely difficult decision precisely because of the desirability of both sites and cities."

That leaves the city 0-2 in the great Lucas Museum record book. But at least it’s a shorter flight than Chicago.]

For the nearly seven years of its non-existence, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has been buffeted at all times by campaigns to attract it to cities and then drive it away from those exact same cities.

Everybody wants the Lucas Museum, except when it’s being handed to them. At this point there have been more tinkerings, alterations, variations, and revisions of the Lucas Museum than there have been of George Lucas’ films.

Nobody could blame Lucas if he felt like he’s getting mixed messages from most major cities. But at least he knows where San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee stands.

Literally: Mayor Lee made his final bid for the museum (which is supposed to make the big announcement about its future home presently) with a picture of himself and his boosters standing right on the proposed Treasure Island site.

There’s even a sign: “Treasure Island Wants The Lucas Museum.”

Spelling it out is wise since two previous cities have run Lucas out of town after he elected to build there. Foremost among them being San Francisco, the other Chicago.

Lee also pinned a tweet to the top if his feed playing to Lucas’s extensive experience living and working in the Bay Area, suggesting that he “continue the legacy where it all began,” a note seemingly calibrated for the director and screenwriter’s idealistic storytelling sensibilities.

An announcement about the presumably final location of the Lucas Museum could happen any minute now, or within a couple of days.

In the meantime, if Lucas and and his museum trust have spent any sleepless nights over the past six years wondering if anyone wants them, at least Ed Lee gave them a definitive answer.

The many faces of the Lucas Museum of Narrative art. The bottom image is the most recent SF design.