Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago, 60619
After a year of deliberation and proposals from community groups, the Barack Obama Foundation announced on May 12 that it will bring the Obama Presidential Library to the South Side of Chicago.
At a press conference at the Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 South Ingleside Avenue, community leaders, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and members of the Obama Foundation made the announcement that the South Side will be the future home of the Obama Center.
“This whole thing is about the community” said Martin Nesbitt, President of the Obama Foundation. In the press announcement, he also told the audience that the library will be ‘independent of the University of Chicago’ and will be designed and developed by the Obama Foundation.
The Barack Obama Foundation plans to collaborate with community organizations and universities, including the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the state of Hawaii, who submitted proposals during the year-long request.
The presidential library is estimated to be completed by 2020 or 2021.
In a recorded video posted on the Obama Foundation YouTube channel, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talked about how important the South Side is to them.
The Barack Obama Foundation and The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will work together in developing the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum as part of a larger Obama Presidential Center. The Obama Foundation will raise all of the funds needed for construction of the project; neither federal funds nor university funds will be used in the construction of the facilities.
In a 2014 report commissioned by the University of Chicago, the economic implications for the South Side will bring 300 construction jobs and spur the creation of 1,900 permanent new jobs in retail, dining, and other businesses, with $220 million in annual impact for Chicago.
For more information about the Foundation and the future Obama Presidential Library, visit http://www.barackobamafoundation.org/ or follow @ObamaFoundation on Twitter.