Story at a glance

  • Nonprofit Protect Our Parks is opposing construction of a new presidential library in historic Jackson Park.
  • “In constructing the OPC [Obama Presidential Center], Respondents will need to demolish significant parts of Jackson Park, its historical resources, parkland, and trees, which will, in turn, adversely affect the human environment, the historic landscape, wildlife, and migratory birds,” the group said.
  • Construction of the Obama Presidential Center kicked off Monday.

An advocacy group focused on protecting public parks in Chicago has asked the Supreme Court to temporarily halt construction of former President Obama’s presidential library which kicked off Monday.

In an emergency request for a temporary injunction filed with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the nonprofit Protect Our Parks argued that the federal government failed to carry out required environmental reviews for the Obama Presidential Center, which is being constructed in the historic Jackson Park. 

The group has long been opposed to construction of the library in the park located on the city’s South Side, claiming construction will put the “historic and environmental elements” of the park in imminent danger. 


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“In constructing the OPC, Respondents will need to demolish significant parts of Jackson Park, its historical resources, parkland, and trees, which will, in turn, adversely affect the human environment, the historic landscape, wildlife, and migratory birds,” the request states. 

The group has asked that the library be moved to a location outside of a dedicated public park. 

A federal district court and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals both denied the environmental advocates request to halt construction of the facility. 

“In the original Protect Our Parks case, the Supreme Court summarily denied plaintiffs’ appeal  without hearing an oral argument,” an Obama Foundation spokesperson told Changing America. 

“Plaintiffs have a right to appeal the 7th Circuit’s denial of their request to block construction of the OPC. We await word from the Court as to next steps,” the spokesperson said. 


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Published on Aug 19, 2021