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Edgewater Beach Walk Supporters Ask George Lucas To Help Fund The Project

beachwalk-2In an open letter from Morry C. Matson, president of the Edgewater Beach Group, he seeks to find a possible solution to help get the new Edgewater Beachwalk built. The letter, which was written to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, follows their withdrawal of plans that would select Chicago as the proposed site for the George Lucas Museum.

The museum’s proposal brought much controversy with it, as Friends Of The Parks (FOP) would not budge on their lawsuit against the project which was to be built on Chicago lakefront public park space. However, in a last ditch effort by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in early June, he offered a unique offering if the group would drop the lawsuit. He would fill in ‘the last four miles’ of Chicago lakefront with public park space.

Those final for miles include Chicago lakefront property that currently does not contain park space along its shoreline. The deal would add 525 acres of lakefront parkland from 71st to 95th streets on the south side and from Hollywood to Howard Street in Edgewater and Rogers Park.

However, with Lucas withdrawing the museum plans during the heated negotiations, Matson sought to ask Lucas and Hobson to still consider funding the Beachwalk. Matson wrote, “We inadvertently became a bargaining chip in the tug-of- war between Chicago’s City Hall and Friends of the Parks. If FOP had agreed to drop their lawsuit against your project, then the mayor would have included our proposed project with yours. Our moment in the sun proved to be fleeting. The deal fell through.”

He added, “Our organization would like to offer a simple solution to the problem. In order to wipe away your sense of disappointment, we suggest that you adopt our humble and inexpensive proposed project as your own.”

The Beachwalk recently received attention after new renderings were created by famed Chicago architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill. The scope of the proposed project is to extend the lakefront park and bike path (which currently ends at Ardmore Avenue) to Devon Avenue. The plans include new beaches, a beach house, a docking area, a dog park and acres of new lakefront green space.

Matson said, “The “working title” (to use a cinematic term) for our small infrastructure project is Edgewater Beachwalk. With a sixty million dollar donation, it can easily be changed to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson Memorial Parkway. The majority of Chicago supports this plan, and you two would be heroes.”

Matson urged Lucas and Hobson to call him, saying, “The force is strong in this one.”
Hat tip: SunTimes

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