Video: First Designs of the Obama Presidential Library

The Obama Foundation has released a video and stills showing its latest vision for the Barack Obama Presidential Center.

Taking a large chunk out of Jackson Park, the facility is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to Chicago’s South Side.

According to the Foundation:

The Center will be a place for doing. It will include classrooms, labs, and outdoor spaces, and it will conduct programs that provide visitors with experiences that inspire and tools to make things happen in their own communities.

The campus will be open to the public, and the Center will include indoor and outdoor spaces for events, trainings, and other gatherings.

The video finally answers the long-simmering question of where exactly in Jackson Park the museum and archive will be located.  Or, to some, which piece of public land will be given turned over to this private organization for its use.

The answer is the foot of East 60th Street at Cornell Avenue.  The campus will apparently obliterate the Perennial Garden, but erect a truncated pyramid visible far and wide thanks to unobstructed views in all directions, particularly along the lakefront and down the length of the Midway Plaisance.

Although L service to the site is a little difficult, it’s just steps away from tthe 59th street Metra Station.  And extending the CTA’s #10 tourist bus service from the nearby Museum of Science and Industry should be simple enough to accomplish.  Making it year-round is another matter.  For locals, the #6, #15, and #28 buses already run past this location.


Location: 6401 South Stony Island Avenue, Woodlawn

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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