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Obama Foundation files plans for presidential library in Chicago

12 January 2018

The project will also annex more than 20 acres from Jackson Park, an urban park on the National Register of Historic Places designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architects who designed Central Park.

Grass-roots activists, conservationists and academics on Chicago's South Side say the Obama Presidential Center, as now planned, does not do enough to benefit neighborhoods badly in need of economic revitalization.

According to Crain's, shortly after the statement was sent, the foundation announced it would eliminate the above-ground parking garage on the east end of the Midway Plaisance, and instead create a parking garage underneath the center in Jackson Park.

According to his original plan, the Obama Center was to be built across from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

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Obama released images of the proposed presidential center Tuesday in a YouTube video, showing a white, modern-looking building surrounded by parkland.

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". That's the most vital aspect of the Obama Presidential Center - creating spaces for people to connect and collaborate, to take home a piece of what you've learned together.

The statements were made ahead of the Foundation's formal submission of its plans to the Chicago Plan Commission on Wednesday, with the goal of gaining approval by the spring, breaking ground this year, and opening in 2021.

The tower's design was inspired by a photo of four diverse hands forming a structure.

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The center will also feature a forum where visitors can view performances, a library building, plaza, athletic center, and underground parking facility. Obama once wanted to be an architect, in 2011 he said, "When I was younger, there was a time I dreamed of being an architect. People are anxious to have this come to life", said Michael Strautmanis, the foundation's vice president of civic engagement.

"Any community organizer worthy of the name would have put this museum on the west side of Washington Park, which desperately needs the economic revitalization and already has extensive public transportation in place, as well as easy access to the Dan Ryan [Expressway]", Mr. Lipson said.

"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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Obama Foundation files plans for presidential library in Chicago