HYDE PARK — Chicago artist Theaster Gates and sculptor Don Gummer, the husband of actress Meryl Streep, are among those helping Barack and Michelle Obama pick an architect to design the presidential library, according to reports.
Several notable Chicagoans, including Newsweb Corp. board chairman Fred Eychaner and Clayco CEO Bob Clark, have been appointed to a nine-member panel helping the Obamas choose between seven architecture firms competing to design the library, according to news reports Thursday morning.
“Based upon highly selective criteria identified by experts in design and architecture, the foundation and its advisers presented their recommendations to the president and first lady,” a spokeswoman for the Obama Foundation said in a statement. “All of the selected firms have a position of eminence within the architecture profession and have achieved some degree of public recognition.”
The panel will help make a final recommendation to the president, who will ultimately decide on the architect for the library, expected to start construction sometime after Obama leaves office in 2017 and expected to be completed in 2020.
In addition the Gates, a South Side artist, and Gummer, who has done a number of public art installations, the panel includes Edward Schlossberg, the founder, of ESI Design and husband of Caroline Kennedy; Margaret Russell, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest; Fred Eychaner, board chairman of Newsweb Corp.; Bob Clark, CEO of Clayco; architect Christine Forester; interior designer Michael Smith; and attorney Kathryn Chenault.
The Obama Foundation is expected to choose an architect, who will then help decide between proposed sites in Washington and Jackson parks.
The list of architects includes Adjaye Associates of London, England; Diller Scofidio and Renfro of New York City; John Ronan Architects of Chicago; Renzo Piano Building Workshop of Genova, Italy; SHoP Architects of New York City; Snøhetta, New York City; and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects of New York City.
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