President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have chosen Chicago’s Jackson Park, just east of the University of Chicago, to be the site of the Obama Presidential Center. The 543-acre park beat out the Obama’s other top pick, Washington Park, which is also located on the South Side of Chicago. A formal announcement is expected to come soon.
Jackson Park’s western edge connects with the African-American neighborhood of Woodlawn, which is “beginning to gentrify,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Other neighborhoods around the park are already thriving. A University of Chicago study predicted that the project could “generate $31 million in food and other retail development” in bordering neighborhoods.
The Obama Presidential Center is estimated to cost at least $500 million. It will include “a library housing the presidential archives, a museum devoted to Obama’s eight-year tenure, and the headquarters of the Obama Foundation.” It will be Chicago’s first presidential library. The Tribune also notes that the library “represents the first time a U.S. president has opted to locate his archives and museum in a poor neighborhood away from a city center.”
Construction on the Obama Presidential Center is expected to start after Obama leaves office in January. The Obama Foundation aims to finish the project in 2021.
(Via Chicago Tribune)