Stop the FotP Lawsuit Against Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago
This petition had 2,648 supporters
Friends of the Park https://fotp.org, a Chicago-based non-profit with the stated mission to "preserve, protect, improve and promote the use of parks and open spaces throughout the Chicago area for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors" has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art http://lucasmuseum.org, a proposed art museum endowed by Director George Lucas to house paintings, illustrations, cinematic art and digital art including items from his personal collection.
The proposed site is a parking lot located between McCormick place and Soldier Field (shown above). In 2015, the State of Illinois approved potential land use for the museum and the Chicago City Council approved zoning. Lucas has pledged to privately fund the $400+ million dollar cost to:
- Construct a brand new, modern, art museum building
- Add 200,000 sq feet of new public park space including an event prairie and eco park. This space will be owned by the park district, but maintained at the museum's cost.
- Create a new underground parking garage beneath the complex that will actually increase the total available parking for Soldier Field
- The environmental cleanup from debris dating back to the great Chicago fire.
No taxpayer dollars will be used, though the land is being leased from the park district at a cost of $10 for 99 years with two options for renewal.
The proposed museum will add an iconic architectural structure and additional green space to an otherwise blank, paved, and bleak city landscape. The museum will contribute to and extend the cultural history of Chicago's museum campus further south. The museum will improve the safety of people using that section of lakefront for other recreational purposes. It will provide hundreds of jobs to Chicago residents and generate an estimated 2 billion dollars in tourism revenue in its first 10 years. Most importantly, it will provide educational opportunities that inspire a new generation of artists, storytellers, illustrators, and filmmakers.
FOTP claims building the museum on that site "contradicts the public trust doctrine and its central principle that the general public is the beneficiary of this public lakefront parkland. The Lucas Museum is not a public use."
As residents of the City of Chicago, we are asking that Friends of the Park drop this lawsuit. We believe, as members of the community you have committed to serve, that your actions are misguided, contrary to your stated mission, and bring more harm to our city than good.
At a time when Chicago needs an organization like yours to protect actual parks, please do not waste the time and resources generously donated to you to protect a parking lot from the fate of becoming a world-class cultural institution.
Today: G is counting on you
G Generelli needs your help with “Friends of the Park Execuitve Director Juanita Irizarry: Stop Friends of the Park Lawsuit Against George Lucas Museum”. Join G and 2,647 supporters today.