Obama Foundation files plans for presidential library in Chicago
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) January 10, 2018
The Obama Foundation on Wednesday submitted its development plans and applications for former President Obama’s presidential library in Chicago.
The Obama Presidential Center will include a 235-foot tall museum building, a forum building intended for community programming, a library building, a community athletic center and an outdoor plaza, according to a release from the Obama Foundation.
Crews are expected to break ground on the project in late 2018, with the facility opening in 2021 on Chicago’s South Side in the Jackson Park neighborhood, the release states.
Obama was born in Hawaii, but lived in Chicago after college and met the former first lady, Michelle, there. Obama worked as a community organizer in the city before being elected as an Illinois representative.
The Obamas maintained a permanent residence in the city’s Kenwood neighborhood until he was elected president.
“Michelle and I want this center to be more than just a building. We want to create an economic engine for the South Side of Chicago,” Obama said in a video address.
The latest plans for the presidential library include updated designs and amenities to reflect feedback after an initial design was released last May.
Changes include altering the museum building’s design, creating additional landscaped paths, dispersing play areas around the campus, preserving an existing local garden and relocating the parking facility.
The designs still require approval from the Chicago Planning Commission and other city panels. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel served as Obama’s first chief of staff in the White House.