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Gazette Premium Content San Francisco offers George Lucas a museum site

Associated Press Updated: May 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee is offering George Lucas a spot on the city's scenic waterfront for the future home of the Star Wars creator's lifetime collection of art and movie memorabilia.

In a letter sent to Lucas on Thursday, Lee proposes building the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum on a 2.3-acre site known as Seawall Lot 330, which is owned by the Port of San Francisco and is situated along the Embarcadero, south of the Bay Bridge and north of the AT&T Park stadium. The letter was shared with the Associated Press by Lee's spokeswoman Christine Falvey.

"On behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, I write to propose an extraordinary location along our City's waterfront as the iconic new home for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum," Lee wrote.

"Seawall Lot 330 sits across from Piers 30-32, which, should you be interested, offers a unique opportunity to partner with the City and Port to transform crumbling piers and parking lots into complementary new waterfront educational and public open space."

In a handwritten message at the bottom of the letter, Lee added: "George — thank you for your utmost consideration. You know we enthusiastically support your project and our history!"

Earlier this year, the Presidio Trust rejected Lucas' proposal to open the museum on park land at the base of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, but it then offered him another location near the home of Lucasfilm's special-effects, game unit and corporate offices. Lucas is considering that offer.

Lee had given his staff until the end of May to come up with a list of possible locations for the museum because of increasing interest from other cities, particularly Chicago.

A task force appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recommended last week that the museum be built on parking lots south of its Soldier Field football stadium.

Chicago is considered a front-runner in part because Lucas is married to Chicago businesswoman Mellody Hobson.

Lucas wants a showcase for his collection of popular art, including illustrations by Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth as well as works by Lucas's visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic and other companies.

The museum will also feature temporary exhibits from other collections.

Raised in Modesto, Lucas has said he doesn't have enough wall space at his 6,000-acre Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, and he intends to invest up to $300 million of his money with another $400 million endowment upon his death.

David Perry, Lucas's spokesman, didn't immediately return messages requesting comment.

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