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Obama Library Will be Built in Jackson Park

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An official announcement is expected to come next week


While it’s not been officially announced by the Obama Foundation, multiple news outlets are reporting that the future Obama Presidential Center will be built in Jackson Park. Both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times have reported that sources close to the Obamas have confirmed that the presidential library will be built in the 543-acre Jackson Park which is connected to the Woodlawn neighborhood. When the Obamas announced last summer that the presidential library would be coming to Chicago’s South Side, the site selection had been narrowed down to an eastern section of Jackson Park or a site situated in and just adjacent to Washington Park. However, it was known that the site selection would be the next step after the Obama Foundation lined up a lead architect for the project.

The landing page of the Obama Foundation website when the Obamas first announced that the library would be coming to Chicago
Obama Foundation

It’s been exactly a month since the Obamas announced that Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects will lead the design for the library and now we have a site selection—the Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Jackson Park. The location will not only place the Obama Presidential Center near the lakefront and the Museum of Science and Industry, but it also follows through with the Obamas’ mission to build their library in a community that stands to reap many benefits from such an investment.

Now that we have the key components in place, the project can truly begin to move forward. According to the timeline on the Obama Foundation website, the next key moment will be the president leaving office. From there, programming can begin and Chicagoans will likely get a better idea of how the library center will look and interact with Jackson Park and the Woodlawn community.