L.A. City Council Paves Way For 2021 Opening Of $1.2 Billion Lucas Museum

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson outside City Hall Tuesday to announce the L.A. City Council's approval of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a $1.2 billion non-profit museum coming to Exposition Park in 2021. Mayor Garcetti, a noted nerd Star Wars fan who told LAist back in October that he'd made the Lucas Museum design his screensaver, just couldn't help himself from introducing Lucas and Hobson with: "A long time ago, in a city not so far away, two people had an idea for a museum."

Garcetti, Lucas and Hobson were joined at Tuesday's press conference by Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price of the 9th District, as well Council President Herb Wesson, who noted the relationship between art and civil rights, saying, "Narrative art can build the strongest bridges and tear down the highest walls, and now we have a billion dollars' worth of narrative art right here in the heart of L.A." County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas took the podium as well, noting that the Lucas Museum would bring approximately 759 direct and indirect jobs to the area.

The L.A. City Council's unanimous vote clears the way for a projected 2018 groundbreaking on the Lucas Museum. The multimedia art and exhibition space, which constitutes the largest gift from an individual family to an American city, will make its home in the heart of the newly established South L.A. Promise Zone. The museum will serve as a "classroom for the imagination" for the over 100 K-12 schools in the area, as well as providing public lectures and classes for all ages, hands-on workshops and after-school programs (and, we can only hope, regular screenings of Star Wars.)

Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, the Lucas Museum will convert 11 acres of parking lots and asphalt along Vermont Boulevard into public green space with the Museum hovering above it; for a glimpse of what the finished product will look like, check out these renderings.

The future of the Lucas Museum in L.A. looked uncertain at one point, with San Francisco floated as a possible destination. Hobson addressed this uncertainty on Tuesday, saying, "I know it took us a couple of stops to get here, but this is where we were supposed to be." (Jealous, S.F.?)