Obama Presidential Center on Today’s Agenda
May17

Obama Presidential Center on Today’s Agenda

The Obama Presidential Center has caught what the British call “the American disease.”  That means a lawsuit. The proposal to slurp up a chunk of Jackson Park and close some neighboring streets has neighbors so upset, they’re going to ask a judge to stop it. If you’ve been following this saga, you know that the Obama Foundation ruffled feathers when it decided that instead of using the abundant vacant private...

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Opposition Growing Against Obama Museum Eating Jackson Park
Nov29

Opposition Growing Against Obama Museum Eating Jackson Park

Just a day after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the feds are going to examine the placement of the Barack Obama Presidential Center on a prime chunk of public park, neighbors are getting organized to save their green space. “Save the Midway” has been formed to protect the city’s beloved Midway Plaisance from a parking garage and charter bus staging area that the Obama Foundation wants to build at the head of the...

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Park Pals Protest Potential Park Peril from Proposed Presidential Parking Plan
Nov07

Park Pals Protest Potential Park Peril from Proposed Presidential Parking Plan

The advocacy group Friends of the Parks made headlines last year when it successfully scared Hollywood director George Lucas away from Chicago, handing his free billion-dollar art museum to Los Angeles on a silver platter. At the time, there were minor rumblings about the group’s true commitment to the city’s parks since it opposed the Lucas museum plan in Grant Park, but was silent on the Obama museum plan in the...

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Obama Center Clarifies Its Plaisance Park Parking Plan
Aug28

Obama Center Clarifies Its Plaisance Park Parking Plan

The Obama Foundation has revealed its plans for a chunk of the Midway Plaisance across the street from the new Barack Obama Presidential Center.  It wants to use the  tree-lined open lawn for a parking garage and transit center. The Obama Foundation describes the public open parkland as “underutilized,” which is kind of the point of open parkland.  In modern landscaping terms, the space will be “activated” with...

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Obama Library Price Jumps 50% in 9 Months
Feb27

Obama Library Price Jumps 50% in 9 Months

It was already the biggest cultural landmark to come to the South Side in a generation.  Now it’s going to be the biggest financial injection into the region of Chicago in modern memory. Just nine months after former president Barack Obama stated that he needed a billion dollars to build his presidential library and museum, that price is now reportedly $1.5 billion. The news was broken by the New York Post’s Richard...

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Park Pals Pass on Protesting Presidential Plan
Aug05

Park Pals Pass on Protesting Presidential Plan

A couple of days ago, the Obama Foundation announced that Chicago’s Jackson Park will be the location of the Barack Obama Presidential Center. The decision came as a surprise to some observers who believed that Washington Park was a lock. The Jackson decision now leaves them with neighborhood revitalization plans unrealized. Also not happy with the choice is Friends of the Parks. You may remember it as the N.G.O. that scared George...

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Trib: Obama Library To Land in Jackson Park
Jul28

Trib: Obama Library To Land in Jackson Park

We’re still a week away from an official announcement, but the Chicago Tribune says President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park for the Obama Presidential Center. It was quite some time ago that the location for the presidential library was narrowed down to either Washington Park, or Jackson Park.  But until now it was widely believed that Washington Park was the front runner. How much of Jackson Park will be impacted by the...

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TWBTA and IDEA Chosen to Design Obama Presidential Library on Chicago’s South Side
Jun30

TWBTA and IDEA Chosen to Design Obama Presidential Library on Chicago’s South Side

After months of anticipation, the Obama Foundation has decided in which direction it wants to go with the Barack Obama Presidential Center: TWBTA out of New York and IDEA in Chicago. You may know TWBTA (Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects) from such projects as the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts and the Phoenix Art Museum.  Locally, IDEA was the architect of record for Renzo Piano’s Art Institute of...

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Obama Library Says “Hey, Remember Us?”
Mar28

Obama Library Says “Hey, Remember Us?”

For months, the people of the city of Chicago have waited patiently for the people at the Obama Foundation to decide who’s going to design the new Obama Presidential Center.  What we know so far is that it will be somewhere on the South Side, quite likely in Jackson or Washington Parks, where no one will wail and complain and sue over the loss of public space like the Lucas Museum because… South Side. Today the Obama...

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Friends of the Parks Waves White Flag; Pledges to Work With Obama Library
May13

Friends of the Parks Waves White Flag; Pledges to Work With Obama Library

Following yesterday’s official announcement that that the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum will be built in a park on Chicago’s South Side, the Friends of the Parks issued a statement expressing its dismay. The organization has been against any use of public park space for the library, which is expected to use quite a lot of space.  But after the official announcement, it is striking a conciliatory tone; doing...

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