The Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum will be built near the University of Chicago on the city's South Side, beating out potential sites at Columbia University and the University of Hawaii, the New York Times reported yesterday.
While the library's exact location has yet to be finalized, two Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks—Jackson Park and Washington Park—are in the running. An architect has yet to be named.
The location appears a logical choice: Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School before running for office and Michelle Obama was raised on the South Side. The Obamas also have a house in the nearby Kenwood neighborhood. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spearheaded efforts to bring the library to the city. But preservationists have opposed the proposed sites, contending that the historic parkland should not be disturbed. Lawmakers, however, introduced legislation last week to affirm that the city can, in fact, build on parkland, for both the Obama library and the controversial Ma Yansong-designed George Lucas museum.
“We just want to make sure that there’s no issue with regard to Chicago being able to be chosen,” Illinois Senator John Cullerton told the Chicago Tribune. “Obviously there were some concerns about our competition in New York having a clearer ownership issue with the land.”
The University of Chicago told RECORD they have no comment.
Read our past coverage of the Obama presidential library here.