High Hopes for Proposed George Lucas Cultural Arts Museum at Presidio

A sporting goods store in San Francisco might have to put away its baseball bats and possibly make way for some lightsabers. 

The Presidio Trust is looking for a new tenant to take over the land where the Sports Basement is now situated by Crissy Field. 

One person very interested in taking over that space lives on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge: Star Wars creator George Lucas.  He wants to tear down that sporting goods store and build in its place the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, a 95,000-square-foot space that would try to educate and inspire young people in the arts. 

One exhibit would feature props, costumes and designs from his films.  Another exhibit would be devoted exclusively to digital art.  And another would feature pieces from Lucas’s private art collection, which includes modern masterpieces created by the likes of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth.

“George Lucas is a local boy,” said David Perry, spokesperson for the proposed museum.  “The first museum he ever went to was right here in San Francisco. He realized that that museum going experience inspired him as a young man to become an artist, to become a filmmaker. So this museum, we hope, will inspire a whole new generation of young people.”

Lucas would pay the $300 million price tag for this museum out of his own pocket and would endow another $400 million to keep it running.

But it’s not a done deal.  The plan still needs the approval of the Presidio Trust, which is also considering two other options to replace the Sports Basement. The Bridge Sustainability Institute and the Presidio Exchange would also like to build museums on the site focusing on art and the environment.

The Trust's final decision is expected sometime in the fall.

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