George Lucas made it official last week that he'd be abandoning his plan to build his museum of graphic art and movie memorabilia in Chicago, and chances are high that he'll be shifting his focus back to San Francisco, specifically to Treasure Island, to locate the project. That idea first made headlines in May, and now Matier & Ross have some new rumors to share, including confirmation that Yale-educated Chinese architect Ma Yansong of Beijing-based MAD Architects will be doing the design. And while it may end up being similar to the circus tent-like structure designed for the Chicago waterfront site, it won't be exactly the same and they get from an anonymous source that the Treasure Island design would feature more windows with "sweeping views of the bay and city."
City leaders on all sides of the political spectrum are firmly behind the idea, given that Lucas would essentially be giving a cultural gift to the city that he plans to fully fund himself. Mayor Lee has already joined with many in the business community in taking out a full page ad in the Chronicle welcoming Lucas back with his museum a project that previously had been thwarted by the Presidio Trust, leading Lucas to consider his adopted second home, and the home of his wife, Chicago.
And what was then thought to be a $700 million project is now said to be a $1.5 billion project that will include special ferry service across the Bay.
But, it's far from a done deal, and Los Angeles remains in the running for a possible location as well. "We understand Mr. Lucas is weighing his options,” says Deirdre Hussey, Mayor Lee's spokesperson. “The mayor and the Board of Supervisors are working closely with the Lucas team to have a home for his world-class collection on Treasure Island.”