University of Chicago Unveils Plans for Obama Presidential Library

The University of Chicago has finally revealed plans for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Stony Island Ave proposal

The University of Chicago has revealed plans for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. In a recent posting on its website, the University proposed that the presidential library and museum be built on 21-22 acres of parkland on Chicago’s South Side. The two proposed sites are Washington Park and Jackson Park/Woodlawn.

According to University of Chicago officials, building the presidential library on South Side area parkland would help revitalize the neighborhood and attract Chicagoans and visitors from around the world, providing an economic boost for the local community.

“The presidential library would be a new jewel for the South Side park system, alongside public cultural institutions such as the Museum of Science and Industry and the DuSable Museum of African American History,” said Susan Sher, senior advisor to University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer and former chief of staff for first lady Michelle Obama.

area map of proposed sites

The two sites proposed as locations for the library include 21 acres in Jackson Park, bounded by Stony Island Ave. to the west, Cornell Ave. on the east, East 60th St. to the north and East 63rd St. to the south. The second location is a 22-acre site in Washington Park, bordered by Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the west, Ellsworth Drive to the east, Garfield Blvd. to the south and 51st St. to the north. The land is currently owned by the Chicago Park District and needs to be acquired by the City in order for the bid to go forward. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has scheduled a series of public hearings in January to discuss the proposal.

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

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