Lucas Museum Plan Built On $1 Billion In Borrowing, Springfield Approval

A draft image of what the Lucas Museum would look like on the lakefront.
A draft image of what the new Lucas Museum would have looked like on the lakefront. Courtesy of Lucas Museum
A draft image of what the Lucas Museum would look like on the lakefront.
A draft image of what the new Lucas Museum would have looked like on the lakefront. Courtesy of Lucas Museum

Lucas Museum Plan Built On $1 Billion In Borrowing, Springfield Approval

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the plan to replace an old part of McCormick Place with the Lucas Museum is a “major victory.” But it relies on borrowing that needs approval from Springfield.

Emanuel counts three wins in this new plan: 12 new acres of parkland on the lakefront, an expanded McCormick Place and a complete museum campus. His administration says the reconfiguration of the convention center will be the “largest contiguous exhibition space in the world.”

To pay for this, movie mogul George Lucas will chip in $743 million. But the mayor’s office says the project also requires the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, owners of McCormick Place and Navy Pier, to borrow more than $1 billion and move around some tax revenue.

The borrowing and tax changes require approval from deadlocked state lawmakers.

Lauren Chooljian covers city politics for WBEZ. Follow her @laurenchooljian.