San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Aaron Peskin have joined forces seeking to convince George Lucas to open his museum on Treasure Island. Peskin said “the museum could give Treasure Island a heart and a destination,” a sentiment I share.
But the soon to be completed Market Street Place in Mid-Market is a far better fit for the Lucas Museum. That’s true from both the perspective of Lucas and San Francisco.
Lucas is 72 years old. He’s been trying to get this museum open for years. Best case scenario, when you add in constructing a building, potential environmental issues and lawsuits, and the transit needs, he’ll be approaching 80 before a Lucas Museum on Treasure Island opens.
Opening the Lucas Museum in Mid-Market is also a better fit for San Francisco. The new Market Street Place still lacks an anchor tenant. The Lucas Museum would bring scores of people into that stretch of Mid-Market, boosting the new stores and restaurants emerging in that part of town.
Lucas could likely open his Mid-Market museum well before he turns 75. And it would attract far more visitors than a site on Treasure Island that requires tourists to take a boat or cab and that would attract few people on bad weather days.
I made the case for a Lucas Museum in Mid-Market in 2014 (“Lucas Museum a Great Fit for Mid-Market’’). It’s an even better fit today as construction of Market Street Place nears completion.
George Lucas has wasted years seeking environmentally challenging sites in the Presidio and Chicago’s Waterfront. Similar perils may await him at Treasure Island, notwithstanding Lee and Peskin’s support.
May the Force Be With Him.
Randy Shaw is Editor of Beyond Chron. He is the author of The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco,Filed under: San Francisco News