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A cyclist wearing a face mask rides a Divvy bike in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Since the city shut down lakefront parks and other public spaces in March, there have been calls for more open spaces. But some advocates say that push overlooks the priorities of communities of color, which have been hardest hit by the coronavirus. 

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A scene along Chicago’s lakefront on Thursday, March 26, 2020. (WTTW News)

Juanita Irizarry, executive director of Friends of the Parks, is worried that if Chicagoans flocks to the city’s parks on this warm spring day, officials will crack down on access to all our green spaces.

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Now that it’s clear that “Star Wars” creator George Lucas will be taking his project to another state, what of the small nonprofit group that fell the mighty filmmaker and his supporter, Mayor Rahm Emanuel? Friends of the Parks Executive Director Juanita Irizarry joins us.

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The multi-episode saga to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Chicago’s lakefront is apparently over. In a statement sent just before noon on Friday, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas himself announced that the ongoing litigation from Friends of the Parks effectively killed off the project.

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A rendering of the Lucas Museum. (Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art)

Friends of the Parks’ executive director Juanita Irizarry insists the lawsuit is still on, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he believes an agreement can be reached.

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Friends of the Parks has made some powerful enemies in maintaining its opposition to any lakefront site for the Lucas Museum. Is it worth losing the museum in order to maintain the sanctity of the lakefront?

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Rendering of the proposed site for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (Courtesy Lucas Museum)

Earlier this month, a judge denied the city of Chicago's motion to let Lucas Museum construction begin on its proposed lakefront site. We speak with the head of Friends of the Parks, the nonprofit which filed the lawsuit.

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The saga continues for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. City lawyers say museum officials are considering other cities due to “uncertainty and delay” over the project’s lakefront spot in Chicago.

Federal judge sides with preservation group at Thursday's hearing

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The city's move to dismiss a case against the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was thrown out Thursday in federal court, paving the way for a longer fight and potentially delaying the museum's spring construction plans. 

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A decision this week by a federal judge could green-light plans for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the futuristic-looking proposal from film mogul George Lucas currently facing a lawsuit over its proposed lakefront location.

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Plans to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art along the Chicago lakefront seem like a done deal, but not everyone is on board. Friends of the Parks, a Chicago nonprofit that advocates for the protection of public parks and spaces, has renewed its efforts to halt the development.

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