Obama Foundation Submits Formal Plans To City For Presidential Center Construction


The Obama Foundation is in ongoing talks with the Chicago Public Library about opening a new branch on the site as well.

Both the Obamas grew up in the South Side, which has been associated with high crime rates and poor education, and they hope that the centre will bring jobs and an economic boost to the area.

The foundation chose to scrap the above-ground parking lot first proposed when plans were released in May.

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Over 150 University professors have signed an open letter raising concerns about the Obama Foundation's plans for the Obama Center.

"While we don't expect everyone to agree with every element of the plan, we look forward to working with people across the community and the city to make the most of the opportunity to create a global destination that will showcase the South Side to the world", a spokesperson for the Obama Foundation said. And that's why public input has been absolutely central to our process. Some of the brilliance of Frederick Olmsted's plan for Jackson Park is dormant on on a gray January day, but spring may reveal more about what future visitors will see in the park.

What that means - according to the letter - is that while IL taxpayers will be responsible for financing at least a portion of the construction of the Obama Center, if and when money comes in from tourists visiting the center and paying for parking, the state will not see a return on that investment. A letter from faculty members at the University of Chicago - signed by 177 at last count - laid out a few of their major concerns.

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"We would be pleased to support the Obama Center if the plan genuinely promoted economic development in our neighborhoods and respected our precious public urban parks".

The letter closes with a blistering criticism of the project's estimated cost, which the professors argue will easily exceed $100 million and fall exclusively on the shoulders of the taxpayer. "Not just listening for show, but actively incorporating what we've learned into the plans".

The Obama Center wasted taxpayer money.


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 foundation has adapted plans after hearing from the community and has committed to projects and programs to improve lives on the Southside.

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