It’s difficult to think of Barack Obama in any other position that as the President of the United States, but back when his political career began, he was just an aspiring politician in the South Side of Chicago. And that’s where he decided to build one of his many legacies: a presidential library.
The University of Chicago proposed a park property as the spot for the new building, and the Barack Obama Foundation welcomed it and announced it in a press release on Tuesday.
Obama explained the decision-making process with two reasons; not only will the foundation’s presence through the library on the South Side of Chicago encourage local progress, but it will also engage more people to come to Chicago. Along with the news release, Obama and the First Lady presented the project in a short video.
According to the president’s comments, Chicago is the city where his life came together, with plenty of milestones to remind him of that; it’s the place where he started working with various communities in public service; it’s where he met Michelle, and also where their children were born.
With many other bids pending the president’s choice of location, the decision was hardly surprising for anyone. For a long time, the University of Chicago’s bid was considered a sure winner, and sources disclosed almost two weeks ago Chicago’s win.
Besides the reasons given in the video announcement, there are more causes for the presidential decision to go with Chicago: the university was the place of work for both Obama and his wife at some point, and they still own a house in the campus’ proximity. The South Side was the first to see Obama both as a community organizer and a constitutional law teacher.
First lady Michelle Obama was born and raised in Chicago and she occupied the administrator post the University of Chicago Medical Center. She said that a lot of important bonds, values and memories tie her to Chicago, which makes her a true South Sider.
According to a statement from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, local and state authorities have been working together in the past months to make sure the library is brought where it belongs. The presidential foundation is expected to open offices in the area by the end of the year.
There is, however, the question of which property will be selected for the library, as the university has proposed two potential parks in the vicinity of the campus: Washington Park or Jackson Park.
Image Source: Design Boom