Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Get out the calendar for next year: the next decision in the Friends of Parks court battle to keep the Lucas Museum off Chicago’s lakefront parkland won’t come until February.  

At a status hearing Tuesday, federal judge John Darrah gave the parks group until December 3 to respond to a motion by the city to dismiss their lawsuit. The city will then have two weeks to reply, and the judge will issue an opinion on February 4.

In the meantime, there is to be no construction.  

Friends of the Parks charges that the city and the Chicago Park District are violating the rules for land held in public trust. The City Council recently approved the museum’s lease of 17 acres between McCormick Place and Soldier Field for 97 years, for $10, with two renewal options.

In a statement released by Friends of the Parks after the hearing, executive director Juanita Irizarry equated that lease with a sale: “We think that the sale of the property to George Lucas’ foundation—a lease that could run for 297 years—is a boon not to the public, but to Mr. Lucas himself.”

The city had no comment.