Obama Foundation Submits Formal Plans To City For Presidential Center Construction

Obama Foundation Submits Formal Plans To City For Presidential Center Construction

Located in Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago, the Obama Presidential Center will now comprise of a 235-foot-high tower (160-180-feet in previous plans) as the main building, housing a museum telling the story of Obama as well as that of civil rights and African American history.

Following the release of the letter, the Obama Foundation reached an agreement Monday to move a 450-space, above-ground parking garage below ground.

The facility will be built along Lake Michigan on Chicago's South Side.

In a letter signed by scores of faculty members, the professors argue that while they broadly "support the idea of establishing the Obama Center in our neighborhood", they also share many concerns expressed by local community groups about the existing proposal.

The Foundation revealed drastic revisions to the Center Tuesday in response to its neighbors' concerns.

"One year ago, President and Mrs. Obama laid out their vision for the Obama Presidential Center: a living, working campus for citizenship that will inspire and empower visitors and residents to create change in their communities and the world", David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation, said in a statement.

Those buildings will be situated around a public plaza envisioned as a "town square", with play areas, walking paths, a sledding hill and an indoor athletic facility.

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The foundation released a video Tuesday night, in which Obama made numerous same comments repeated in the email, and called his Center an example of "what ordinary people have the power to do together".

The Obama Center wasted taxpayer money.


The center will "bring upwards of 760,000 people to the South Side every year" and "strengthen the economic climate in the region".

In addition to seeking city approval, the center is under ongoing federal review due to Jackson Park's inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

"So too, each facade of our four-sided tower will be a little different from the next". It's our way of showing that it takes many hands to shape a place. "People are anxious to have this come to life", said Michael Strautmanis, the foundation's vice president of civic engagement.

Plans for the development were submitted Wednesday.

Obama also reminisced of a childhood dream of being an architect, noting that he has "been pretty hands-on" in the planning stages. And that's why public input has been absolutely central to our process.

"From community meetings, to online surveys, we've heard from literally thousands of people about their hopes for the center", he said.

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