May 25, 2018

New Renderings of Obama Presidential Center

12 January 2018, 09:14 | Winston Chapman

This view of the Obama Presidential Center designs shows the museum forum and library

This view of the Obama Presidential Center designs shows the museum forum and library

Photos of the proposed architecture for the new Obama Presidential Center have been released.

The letter asks the Obama Foundation to sign a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) and expresses support for building the Obama Center on the South Side.

Charles Lipson, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, which sits just blocks away from the center's future location, said Mr. Obama is "indulging himself" by building "a monument along the lakefront, where it will have a lot less positive impact than it could have had elsewhere". Ground on the Obama Presidential Center could be broken as soon as this year. And while community members have anxious that the Obama Presidential Center will take up space in a way that inexorably alters the historic place's character, the new plans assert that the closure of nearby Cornell Drive will create a net gain in total park acreage.

These buildings will frame a community-facing public plaza, created to be a town square of sorts for gatherings both informal and planned. Because, according to the professors, the Obama Presidential Center wastes millions of taxpayer dollars in an already broke state, destroys a public park and is "socially regressive" to the affluent community.

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Obama said the museum tower, which will contain a ticketed exhibition space dedicated to the Obamas, the Civil Rights Movement and broader African-American history, represents "ascension, hope and what ordinary people have the power to do together". "It's our way of showing, it takes many hands to shape a place", Obama said.

Obama stressed that public input has and will continue to be central to the design process. However, those design changes did little to address the community's concern with disrupting the Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux-designed park. We've reimagined the landscape plans and the recreational spaces. "So, as you might guess, I've been pretty hands-on in the plans for this centre - and Michelle has, too". "We want it to be a place full of life and activity, where Chicagoans and visitors alike can explore, exchange ideas, learn, and have some fun".

The Obama Center as now planned will not provide the promised development or economic benefits to the neighborhoods.

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