The Los Angeles Planning Commission signed off Thursday on the development proposal for filmmaker George Lucas' highly-anticipated Lucas Museum of Narrative Art at Exposition Park.
Plans call for a five-story building with 300,000 square feet of floor area for a cafe and restaurant, theaters, office space, lecture halls, a library, classrooms, exhibition space and landscaped open space.
"There is no better home for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art than at Exposition Park, and today we moved one step closer to building it right here in the ... Ninth District," City Councilman Curren Price said.
"If you look around Expo Park, you'll see it is experiencing a resurgence with exciting developments like the Los Angeles Football Club Soccer Stadium, renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and now, what will be a world-renowned cultural institution with the Lucas Museum," he said.
Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" film franchise, producer of the "Indiana Jones" franchise and founder of visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, chose L.A. as the home of the $1 billion museum in January, after facing legal challenges in Chicago and also considering San Francisco.
The museum will house works by painters such as Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renior; illustrations, comic art and photography by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth; as well as storyboards, props and other items from popular films. It will be a "barrier-free museum" where "artificial divisions between 'high' art and 'popular' art are absent,'' according to the museum's website.
Price said the Planning Commission approval is key.
"One step closer to more jobs for the community. One step closer to greater access to culture and the arts. One step closer to more green space," he said. "Thank you to George and Mellody Lucas, as well as the stakeholders who came out in support of the project at this morning's Planning Commission meeting. Your input and collaboration has been invaluable to the future of South L.A."