* Greg Hinz…
It’s been pretty obvious since it was unveiled that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s rescue plan to keep the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago is the longest of long shots. […]
Let me float a third way that’s been the subject of some chatter. It’s not perfect, and it could require financial juggling down the road. But if it flies, Emanuel wouldn’t have to worry about filmmaker George Lucas taking his prized collection of art and all those tourists back to the West Coast, because construction already would have begun here.
The two-part idea: Put the museum back in its original location, which happens to be a windblown surface parking lot between Soldier Field and McCormick Place; that would provide a few acres of new green space in the process. Second, enact an ordinance or whatever legally binding step is needed declaring that, when the dilapidated Lakeside Center at the east end of the McCormick Place complex is demolished—you could even add a deadline—all of the land there will be returned to permanent park status, perhaps 20 more acres of it.
Friends of the Parks would have a real public benefit to brag about: not one, but two chunks of new park space. Lucas would be able to start construction on his museum this year. Emanuel would get both without having to spend a ton of money he doesn’t have. And while some of the space in the Lakeside Center (also known as McCormick Place East) eventually might have to be replaced with new exhibition space elsewhere in the McCormick Place campus, the city would have time to come up with a comprehensive plan.
That’s a pretty darned good idea, if you ask me.