Chicago South Side Chosen for Obama Presidential Library Site

The Barack Obama Presidential Library will be located in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood, according to reports by CBS Chicago and NBC News.

Jackson Park proposal

The Barack Obama Presidential Library will be located in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood, according to reports by CBS Chicago and NBC News. The official announcement will be made during a press conference in the upcoming days.

The University of Chicago first revealed plans for the library in early 2015, proposing two locations in the South Side area – Washington Park and Jackson Park/Woodlawn. Officials have not yet revealed which location will house the presidential library, and it is still unclear who the architect will be. According to Curbed Chicago, hints have been made that British architect David Adjaye might design the project.

The University of Chicago’s bid was chosen over bids from the University of Hawaii, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Columbia University in New York City. The Obama Foundation reportedly delayed making a selection due to concerns over the location proposed by the University. The Jackson Park and Washington Park sites were owned by the Chicago Park District at the time. However, in March 2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council completed a deal to transfer control of the parkland to the city, according to the Huffington Post.

The Obamas have a close connection to Chicago’s South Side neighborhood: First Lady Michelle Obama grew up in the area, while President Barack Obama taught at the University of Chicago’s law school for twelve years.

Rendering courtesy of Skidmore Owings & Merrill via the University of Chicago

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