Chicago was a century ahead of its time when it resolved to preserve as much of its lakefront as possible as park land. While Chicago has always had crooks, chiselers, and con artists, this scum now dominates the power structure of Chicago, which why residents are fleeing for what is now the nation's third-largest city.
But the good guys sometimes win in 21st century Chicago. After being rebuffed by San Francisco, Star Warsproducer George Lucas decided to offer the humbly-named Lucas Museum to Chicago. But not just anywhere in the city, right on the lakefront, just south of downtown. Chicago has plenty of empty space, crime-ridden Englewood comes to mind, but prima donna George Lucas wanted his temple on the lake and nowhere else. And Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, hopped on the Millennium Falcon for the ride.
Never mind that while Lake Michigan will be where it is for eons and that Star Wars movies may look as hokey as a Flash Gordon serial in a century. But Friends of the Parks, an open space advocacy group argued that the lakefront isn't Rahm's to give away even with a 99-year lease. Citing a legal concept called public trust doctrine, they sued the city in federal court to prevent the land grab.
Today Lucas decided to take his Star Wars toys and bring them back to California. It's a victory for the people of Chicago and a well-earned Death Star moment for Emanuel.