The stewards of national park land at the base of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge rejected a museum proposal by Star Wars creator George Lucas.
The Presidio Trust’s seven-member board voted unanimously on Monday against Lucas’ plan and two others that were under consideration for an eight-acre site overlooking San Francisco Bay, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The site has been leased to a sports retailer, the Sports Basement, since 2004.
The trust, however, said it would work with Lucas to find another site for his museum within the park.
“We simply do not believe any of the projects would be right for this location,” board Chairwoman Nancy Hellman Bechtle said at a news conference. “We didn’t think any of them quite hit the mark.”
Lucas wants a showcase for his collection of popular art, including illustrations by Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish, and he had pledged $700 million (Dh2.57 million) to build and endow the museum.
David Perry, a spokesman for the producer, said the Lucas group was surprised to hear there were other possible sites for the museum in the park.
“For four years, we have been told that the only site available is the Sports Basement site, and we have worked and reworked our plan to make it work,” Perry said. “Now, literally in the past few hours, we hear there is an alternative site.”
Perry said they will continue to work with the trust, although they will also weigh other offers that have come in.
Lucas’s proposal had high-powered supporters, including Governor Jerry Brown, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, US Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Of the other two proposals that were rejected, one would have retained much of the site’s open space and included displays about the history of the Presidio and the other would have created a museum combined with a science and nature centre.