No Eminent Domain Issues Or Homeowner Displacement Would Impact South Side Obama Library

A potential Washington Park site for the Barack Obama Presidential Library received the endorsement of Alderman Pat Dowell (third ward) during a recent meeting on the proposed site.

The meeting was co-hosted by Dowell and the University of Chicago. Several hundred attendees heard a presentation on the Washington Park proposal.

Dowell strongly supported building the library on the South Side of Chicago at the proposed location.

This site in the Washington Park neighborhood would extend from 54th Street to Garfield, from King Drive to Prairie Avenue plus an additional 22 acres in the park starting east of King Drive and going to Ellsworth Drive, between 51st Street and 55th Street.

A number of factors make the Washington Park site attractive, Dowell said. There are no eminent domain plans, no homeowners, condo owners, churches or business that would be displaced for the construction of the library.

Ultimately, the decision on where to build the library will be made by President Obama, the first lady and their foundation.

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at

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