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Exposition Park’s Lucas Museum breaks ground

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The $1.5 billion museum is set to open in 2021

The new museum is finally underway. Rendering by MAD Architects.
Courtesy of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the latest construction project in Exposition Park’s building boom, broke ground today on a spot formerly occupied by two parking lots just west of the Natural History Museum.

"Today, we officially begin to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art ... a museum that welcomes everyone," said the Lucas Museum’s founding president Don Bacigalupi.

Museum co-founders George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, were in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony. Hobson spoke first, acknowledged that the road to breaking ground has been bumpy, opening her remarks with a triumphant, "Finally!"

"This has been such a long journey," Hobson said.

The Lucas Museum was previously proposed for Chicago—and before that, San Francisco—before coming to LA. But, Hobson said, “This is where we were always meant to be.”

The location is directly across the street from the University of Southern California, where Lucas went to film school.

The museum will join a suite of established museums already in Exposition Park, and Hobson said that the placement was ideal. "We wanted a museum campus," Hobson said.

The interior lobby of the museum.

Speaking about the future museum, George Lucas was careful to note that the museum was not just an art museum, but also an “anthropological museum,” noting that popular, narrative art like movies “is an insight into society and what they aspire to, what they really want, [and] what they really are.”

In addition to exhibition space, the Lucas Museum will hold an archive, a library, a vast lobby, classrooms, two state-of-the-art theaters, a museum shop, and a cafe.

The museum will be surrounded by 11 acres of park space designed by landscape architecture firm Studio MLA (formerly Mia Lehrer + Associates).

The $1.5 billion museum is expected to open in 2021.

The museum will be surrounded by public park space designed by Mia Lehrer’s landscape architecture firm Studio MLA.