The Obama Presidential Center, after five years of legal battles, gentrification concerns, and a federal review, Barack and Michelle Obama are expecting to go a celebratory groundbreaking today on their legacy project on historical Jackson Park.
Construction has taken place near the Obama family home. In fact, it is where the former president started his political career which began last month. That will be the construction. Moreover, the work on the Obama Presidential Center will take about five years.
Obama Presidential Center will be Streaming Online to Limit Crowds
Hosting the event is scheduling with the Obamas. It will be streaming online to limit the crowds, especially during the Corona Virus pandemic. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker will be on hand.
Economic Boost to Chicago’s South Side
Barack Obama said he hopes the center is going to bring an economic boost to Chicago’s South Side. Plus, help to inspire the area’s young people.
“There are young people who are very talented but often left behind. So for us to be able to build a world-class institution that is going to will attract millions of people hopefully will send a strong signal that those young people count, those young people really do matter,” he said.
Sitting on 19 acres of the 540-acre Jackson Park, the presidential center, is going to be unique among presidential libraries.
They are available in digital form with the Obama presidential papers. Moreover, the sprawling campus center is going to include a museum, public library branch, athletic center, test kitchen, and children’s play area.
Jackson Park is on the National Register of Historic Places. There is progress on the center. It has been delayed by lawsuits and a federal review is required.
There are fears about displacing Black residents at the same time. It is in an area that developed into a years-long battle that resulted in city-approved neighborhood protections. They do include affordable housing.
Obama Foundation’s Cost is in the Millions
The center’s project initial cost was projected at $500 million. However, the documents released by the Obama Foundation did last month show it was now approximately $830 million. There are, however, funds that are being raised through private donations.
Obama chose Chicago over many cities including a Big Island state, where he was born and spent his early years.