Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Obama Foundation files plans for presidential library in Chicago

Obama Foundation files plans for presidential library in Chicago

Parking is expensive, and though public lands are being given away, all the profits from this parking lot will go to the Obama Foundation. Today, the 44th president finds himself on the other side of the underserved communities he once championed.

The professors are also highly critical of the now-abandoned plan to construct an above-ground parking garage that was meant to utilize parts of Midway Plaisance, protesting that although "public lands are being given away, all the profits from this parking lot will go to the Obama Foundation". Museum and library buildings will be joined by a space called the "Forum", where, according to the former U.S. president, "anybody can come together for some local programming, or to gather for larger-scale events in an auditorium, maybe record something in a broadcast studio, or just have a bite to eat".

Obama stressed that public input has and will continue to be central to the design process.

The library's design and location has been a source of controversy itself within the Chicago community.

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"Instead", Mr. Lipson continued, "the former president chose a much fancier, high-profile site on the lake, one with virtually no public transportation".

The Obama Presidential Center, near Lake Michigan on the south side of Chicago, will get a taller, slimmer and more transparent museum tower than the previous version revealed a year ago.

"We urge the Obama Foundation to explore alternative sites on the South Side that could be developed with more economic benefits, better public transportation, and less cost to taxpayers", the professors wrote.

Mr. Obama served as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. The garage was initially slated to take up five acres on the historic Midway Plaisance, another part of the Chicago park system. This Center is for young people on the South Side and for young people all around the world - the leaders of tomorrow who are ready to step up and build the world as it should be. We've reimagined the landscape plans and the recreational spaces. It looks to many neighbors that the only new jobs created will be as staff to the Obama Center, hence the widespread support for a Community Benefits Agreement. A forum building for community events and programming, an athletic center for the community, outdoor plaza and library building will also be built in honor of Obama's legacy.

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