Star Wars creator George Lucas has settled on Los Angeles as the site of his $1 billion Museum of Narrative Art.
A board of directors for the museum had been contemplating Los Angeles’ Exposition Park and a site on San Francisco’s Treasure Island. They ultimately settled for the former—which is situated near the University of Southern California, Lucas’s alma mater—because it “best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship.”
The $1 billion museum will be funded entirely by Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson.
It will house props from the Star Wars franchise, including Darth Vader’s original mask, as well as other cinematic memorabilia from films such as The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca. It will also feature paintings by Norman Rockwell and digital artwork from Andy Warhol among its collections.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city “went after [the museum] with everything we have” in a statement. He believes “L.A. is the ideal place for making sure that it touches the widest possible audience.”
The museum’s website projects that it will create over 1,500 construction jobs to build the state-of-the-art building and a further 300-plus full-time employment opportunities.
Lucas and his board withdrew from building the museum in Chicago in May 2016 following a lawsuit from a local preservation group, Friends of the Parks, who opposed the museum’s proposed site of a parking lot near Soldier Field.