Quantcast

Obama Architects, Top Planners To Meet With Public For First Time Next Week

By Sam Cholke | September 7, 2017 4:54pm
 Former President Barack Obama announced initial plans for his presidential library in May at the South Shore Cultural Center.
Former President Barack Obama announced initial plans for his presidential library in May at the South Shore Cultural Center.
View Full Caption
Joshua Mellin

HYDE PARK — The architects, museum director and other top planners of the Obama Presidential Center will take questions — and feedback — on the latest plans for the campus at a Thursday meeting.

The public forum on the proposals for Jackson Park will be at 5:45 p.m. Sept. 14 at the McCormick Place Hyatt Regency, 2233 S. Martin Luther King Drive.

The meeting is the first time architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh and museum director Louise Bernard will meet with the public to answer questions.

“This meeting is part of our open-door policy to hear from anyone with an interest in the Obama Foundation and meet them where they are,” said Michael Strautmanis, vice president of civic engagement at the Obama Foundation. “We want the Obama Foundation to be a staple of the South Side community for years to come.”

He said that the best way to accomplish that is to listen to residents on how the center can be a good neighbor and help nearby communities reap the benefits of the project.

At August meetings with the Chicago Department of Transportation, Obama Center officials presented designs updates to the campus layout that shifted the campus north and positioned a new parking garage on the Midway Plaisance.

Questions remain about how facilities like an athletic center will fit in with the museum, community forum building and library buildings that will serve as the core of the campus to be built around a central courtyard at 60th Street and Stony Island Avenue.

Plans also call for removing sections of Cornell Drive in Jackson Park.


The latest version of the Obama Presidential Center campus moves more of it closer to the University of Chicago with plans for a parking garage on the Midway Plaisance. [Courtesy of the Obama Foundation]