The Chicago Park District is hosting tonight the second of two public meetings on the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
The location of the museum has faced challenges from the Friends of the Parks, a Chicago nonprofit that advocates for the protection of public parks and spaces.
The first meeting was held Tuesday afternoon at Columbia College. Tonight's meeting will be held at McCormick Place at 6 p.m. These two meetings will present and discuss the museum's revised proposals.
Brandis Friedman will have a live report from McCormick Place.
Below, proposed images for the Lucas Museum:
Last week, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune walked "Chicago Tonight" through the new designs for the Lucas Museum and discussed the details of Chinese architect Ma Yansong's revised plan for the potential lakefront museum.
With regard to the four-count lawsuit filed by Friends of the Parks, which is primarily based on the public trust doctrine, Kamin addressed the hurdles that the organization may face now that scope of the project has been reduced.
"It's not looking great from Friends of the Parks' side," Kamin said. "The judge said that the new proposed ground lease, an agreement between the museum and the park district, demanded that they re-write their brief against the project. So the judge is either going to let the case continue or he’s going to say, ‘see you later.’ And the “Empire” would have struck back and the “rebels” will be in a lot of trouble.”
Inside the proposed museum, the new designs for the building include a series of three small theaters, an education center, galleries, a restaurant and observatory housed in the halo-like top ring of the building, and more. Aside from the question of whether the museum will have enough programming to sustain its proposed ammenities, Kamin said that the plans for the museum do not indicate how the building will look at ground-level from Lake Shore Drive, or if it will block other views along the lakefront. Another "critical detail" that Kamin says has been omitted is what type of material the external shell of the building will be made out of.
Based on what has been proposed by the Lucas Museum up to this point, Kamin said that the Chicago shoreline will be compromised if the museum is built.
“I think that the big question here really has to do with clutter," Kamin said. "In other words, it isn’t just the object, it isn’t just the function, it’s the portion of the lakefront where this building goes. There's the McCormick Place East Building, which is kind of like the “Deathstar” of architecture, then you’ve got Soldier Field which is like the “Starship Enterprise” crash landed on the Parthenon. With this thing in the middle, it looks like we have an intergalactic architectural petting zoo as you drive by on Lake Shore Drive.”
Revisit our discussion with Kamin, below.