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Obama Library: UIC Makes Bid for Near West Side, North Lawndale Locations

By Chloe Riley | June 16, 2014 11:17am | Updated on June 16, 2014 11:20am
 State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt talks Monday about UIC's bid for the Obama Presidential Library. 
State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt talks Monday about UIC's bid for the Obama Presidential Library. 
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DNAinfo/Chloe Riley

NORTH LAWNDALE — The University of Illinois at Chicago has placed its own bid for Obama's presidential library — a proposal which includes the option of three sites on the Near West and West Sides.

The proposal was unveiled Monday at Learn Charter School, 1132 S. Homan Ave. The three sites for the proposed museum: Harrison Field, at Harrison and Halsted Streets; a location in the Illinois Medical District at Taylor Street and Ashland Avenue; and a 21-acre parcel that is bordered by Kostner, Kildare, 5th Avenue and Roosevelt Road.

State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, who backs the proposal, said Monday that the economic impact for the North Lawndale community would be a great one.

"I believe that we deserve, we should have the presidential library on the West Side of Chicago," Van Pelt said. "Barack Obama became a community organizer. This neighborhood was a part of his journey." 

Representatives from UIC are currently in Washington to submit the proposal, which contains letters of support from Ald. James Balcer (11th) and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago), among others.  

The proposal points to both the neighborhood's transportation advantages and connections to medical research and development that would come from the sites' proximity to UIC's main campus and the Illinois Medical District, where UIC's medical school is located. 

Other local bids for the library have come from Chicago State University, the University of Chicago and private Chicago developer Dan McCaffery.

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