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Barack Obama Presidential Center
Logo of the Obama Foundation, the non-profit organization that is overseeing the construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center
Location "Jackson Park, "Chicago, "Illinois
Construction start TBD
Completion date Approximately 2020
Named for "Barack Obama
Architect "Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and Interactive Design Architects
Cost $500 million (Estimated)
Management David Simas, CEO[1]

The Barack Obama Presidential Center[2] is the planned "presidential library of "Barack Obama, the "44th "President of the "United States. The center will be hosted by the "University of Chicago, and will be located in "Jackson Park on the "South Side of "Chicago, "Illinois. Once completed, it will become the 14th site in the "National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) presidential library system.[3] The nonprofit Barack Obama Foundation was set up to oversee the creation of the Center and the building of its site.



The Barack Obama Foundation board consists of: Chairman "Marty Nesbitt, a close friend from Chicago; J. Kevin Poorman, president and CEO of PSP Capital Partners; "David Plouffe; Obama's "half-sister "Maya Soetoro-Ng; venture capital financier, "John Doerr; "Studio Museum in Harlem Director and Chief Curator, "Thelma Golden; fundraiser and former White House staffer, Juliana Smoot; investment managers John Rogers, and Michael Sacks, and former "Governor of Massachusetts, "Deval Patrick.[4][5] Barack Obama has a home in "Hyde Park.[6][7][a] The foundation was formally established in January 2014.[8]


The "University of Chicago, the "University of Illinois at Chicago, the "University of Hawaii, and "Columbia University submitted proposals to host the institution.[9][10]

In May 2015, the Barack Obama Foundation and Chicago mayor "Rahm Emanuel announced that the Foundation and the Barack Obama Presidential Center would be located in "Chicago's South Side, and would be built in partnership with the "University of Chicago.[11] The selection of "Chicago's South Side has broad local support for reasons of civic pride as well as of the "economic development it would bring in the form of "tourism and jobs, although the nonprofit group "Friends of the Parks opposes the loss of parkland to build the library and has threatened a lawsuit to block development.[11]

A design advisory committee assisted in the selection of the "architects. Members of the committee included sculptor "Don Gummer (the husband of actress "Meryl Streep); "Ed Schlossberg of ESI Design (husband of "Caroline Kennedy, the "U.S. ambassador to Japan); "Fred Eychaner, a Chicago radio station owner and Democratic financier; and "Architectural Digest magazine editor "Margaret Russell.[12] Seven "architectural firms were announced as finalists in December 2015 from an initial list of 140 applicants:[12] John Ronan Architects, "Adjaye Associates, "Diller Scofidio + Renfro, "Renzo Piano Building Workshop, "SHoP Architects, "Snøhetta, "Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.[13]

Two firms, New York-based "Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Chicago-based Interactive Design Architects, were chosen in June 2016 to jointly lead the design and engineering of the center.[14][15] For the exhibition design, "Ralph Appelbaum Associates, which worked on the "National Museum of African American History, will lead a team including, Civic Projects, Normal, and several local artists.[16]

Two parks near the University of Chicago's South Side campus, "Jackson Park and "Washington Park, were considered.[11] On July 29, 2016, the Foundation announced the selection of the Jackson Park site, across "Stony Island Avenue from "Hyde Park Academy High School. The park, designed by landscape architect "Frederick Law Olmsted for the 1893 "World's Columbian Exposition, already houses the "Museum of Science and Industry.[17]

Construction and fundraising[edit]

Construction of the center is expected to be completed in 2020 or 2021.[12] The architects said in February 2017 that construction of the center's library and museum would likely approach $300 million, and that the center would likely need an endowment of $1.5 billion.[18] Until the site is ready, papers and artifacts from the Obama administration are being stored inside a facility in "Hoffman Estates,[19] northwest of Chicago's "O'Hare International Airport. Obama did not do major fundraising for the center while still in office. In 2017, Obama reportedly was set to engage in a major fundraising effort for the center.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “I spent almost 30 years in Chicago. It’s where Michelle, where she grew up, where our daughters were born,” he said. “Hawaii is home to me,” the president said, but Chicago was his real home.[7]


  1. ^ Eilperin, Juliet (December 19, 2016). "White House political director David Simas joins Obama Foundation as CEO". Washington Post. Retrieved December 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Obama Presidential Center". 
  3. ^ "Obama Foundation FAQs". Barack Obama Foundation. 
  4. ^ David Jackson (January 31, 2014). "Obama library foundation is formed". USA Today. 
  5. ^ "About the Foundation". Barack Obama Foundation. 
  6. ^ Gima, Craig (March 3, 2016). "Obama: 'Hawaii is home,' but he probably won't live here". "Star Advertiser. Honolulu. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Obamas likely to stay in DC for a few years". "Reuters interview (rough cut with no reporter narration). March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  8. ^ Supporters Establish the Obama Foundation to Oversee Planning for Future Presidential Library, Barack Obama Foundation (January 31, 2014).
  9. ^ "Michelle Obama to pick Obama library location: report=Obama Foundation Issues RFP to Four Potential Hosts of Future Presidential Library". WGN-TV. 
  10. ^ "Obama Foundation Issues RFP to Four Potential Hosts of Future Presidential Library". Barack Obama Foundation. 
  11. ^ a b c Julie Bosman & Mitch Smith, Chicago Wins Bid to Host Obama Library, "New York Times, May 12, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Blair, Kamin (January 13, 2016). "Husbands of Streep and Kennedy advising on Obama Center architect". Chicago Tribune. 
  13. ^ Lynn Sweet, Seven firms make cut to design Obama Center in Chicago, "Chicago Sun Times 12/21/2015
  14. ^ "Obamas choose New York architects to design Chicago library and museum". Chicago Tribune. 30 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "The Obama Foundation Announces Architect Selection for Future Presidential Center". The Obama Foundation. 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  16. ^ Obama Foundation exhibition designers "Chicago Tribune
  17. ^ Katherine Skiba, Obama Foundation makes it official: Presidential library will go up in Jackson Park, "Chicago Tribune, June 29, 2016.
  18. ^ a b Obama’s Library Architects Say Project May Need $1.5 Billion: Report, NBC Chicago (February 20, 2017).
  19. ^ Skiba, Katherine (October 21, 2016). "Military Soon to Start Moving Obama's Papers to Hoffman Estates". Chicago Tribune. Washington DC. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 

External links[edit]

"Coordinates: 41°46′57″N 87°35′08″W / 41.78250°N 87.58556°W / 41.78250; -87.58556

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