The University of Chicago has recently been flexing its muscle and using its influence to seek partners for a future Obama Presidential Library on the city's South Side. At the end of January, UofC President Robert Zimmer released a statement saying he believes an Obama Presidential Library would be "ideal for one of our neighboring communities on the South Side of Chicago" indicating that the institution would not seek the library for its Hyde Park campus. However, Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times is reporting that the South Side university is taking the lead on organizing a unified bid that would be handed over to City Hall and Mayor Emanuel who would present the proposal to the Obama Foundation.
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), infamous for being a stick-in-the-unified-proposal-mud, has been approached by reps from UofC who offered to work together on a plan and the public university has since stated that it may be open to the idea. However, on the other hand, real estate mogul and megadeveloper Daniel McCaffery remains interested in getting involved with the bid and is ready to hop on board with the idea of a UofC collaboration.
The big question of where the Obama Library will be located still remains. And although the University of Chicago is upping its game at organizing a unified bid, the institution continues to state that it is not seeking the symbolic and pricey presidential library and museum for its Hyde Park campus. Interestingly enough, Hawaii has dropped its intentions to bid on the library, and according to the Sun-Times, may actually work together with the UofC in hopes of receiving a smaller presidential center in Honolulu in exchange for its support. UofC reps indicated that they have considered Washington Park and the South Shore as potential sites for the future library and museum. Although no particular location has been confirmed just yet, it is nearly certain that Chicago's unified bid will site the Obama Library at an area somewhere near Hyde Park on the city's South Side.
· U. of C. reaches out for partners in Obama library bid [Sun-Times]
· Previous Obama Library coverage [Curbed Chicago]