George Lucas’ proposed museum at the base of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge overlooking the bay was unanimously rejected by a seven-member national park board on Monday.
"We simply do not believe any of the projects would be right for this location," board Chairwoman Nancy Hellman Bechtle said at Monday’s news conference. "We didn't think any of them quite hit the mark."
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Two other projects that were proposed other than the "Star Wars" creator's were also rejected by the board. The projects included a science and nature center proposed by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and an open space recreational site that would feature historic displays tied to the development of the Presidio of San Francisco National Park.
Though the 8-acre site is no longer available to Lucas, the board said they would work with Lucas to find another site for his museum in the park, The Associated Press reported
. Since 2004, the space has been leased out to the sports retailer Sport Basement.
As part of his proposal, Lucas pledged to spend $700 million to endow the museum, which would contain a collection of popular art he owns, including works by Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish, the San Francisco Chronicle reported
Lucas’ spokesman David Perry said the famous Hollywood producer 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 the Lucas Group will continue to work with the board, although they will also weigh other offers that come in.
Lucas’ museum proposal received support from numerous high-power California politicians, including Gov. Jerry Brown, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the AP noted.
Pelosi spokesperson Evangeline George released a statement Monday in response to the board’s decision in which she said the House Minority Leader "is pleased the board has come to a decision to productively work with each of the sponsors to examine alternate locations within the Presidio," the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
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