The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has publicly unveiled its bid for the future Obama Presidential Library. In its proposal, the university wants to bring the institution to the near-south and west sides of the city in a large two-location project. The first site is on UIC's campus near the northwest corner of Harrison and Halsted and the second location is in North Lawndale, near the northeast corner of Roosevelt and Kostner. Throughout its lengthy proposal, UIC states that the goal of the proposal is to help rejuvenate the North Lawndale neighborhood and bring new development to the area, stating that, "The goal for the Library, along with its allied public and private investment, would be to irrigate this zone with new potential, stimulating economic and infrastructural development as well as providing a larger case study in how to reclaim and rehabilitate the twenty-first century city."
UIC has teamed up with a number of stakeholders, and reached out to others as consultants including North Lawndale native Isiah Thomas and Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects. One of the more unique features of the concept is that the school would build part of the library and museum over the Eisenhower Expressway near the Jane Byrne Interchange. In addition to the its ambitious plan to blanket huge stretches of highway with trees and park space, the proposal states that the city's development of bus rapid transit (BRT) along Roosevelt Road and the eventual reopening of the Kostner Blue Line station will help ensure that visitors will be able to get to the museum, but also will provide important transportation upgrades for residents of the areas.
UIC's bid is far from a sure bet however, as it faces tough competition from the University of Chicago's Hyde Park bid, Columbia University's bid for New York as well as the University of Hawaii's effort. The Obama Foundation will be making a decision soon however, as the plan is to announce the future home of the Obama Presidential Library early next year.
·Barack Obama Presidential Library bid [UIC]
·UIC's Two-Site Obama Library Proposal Would Build Over the Eisenhower [DNAinfo]
·Will Rahm's Offer Bring the Obama Library to the West Side? [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Obama Presidential Library coverage [Curbed Chicago]