The Obama Foundation announced in early August that the Obama Presidential Center, including the president’s library archives, will be built in Jackson Park.
Friends of the Parks has said since 2014, when Chicago was first mentioned as a potential site for the presidential library, that we are excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host President Obama’s legacy on the city’s South Side, where the president and the first lady have a deep connection to the community. We have also said from the beginning that we object to the use of existing parkland for the library. We will continue to voice that concern.
In a press release following the site selection announcement, Friends of the Parks Executive Director Juanita Irizarry emphasized that the library’s design “should maximize the use of available vacant land and underground space, and be truly ‘park positive’ by adding parkland to the surrounding community.”
Friends of the Parks’ fall Netsch Lecture focused on the Obama Library and its potential impact on Jackson Park. Friends of the Parks co-founder and advisory board member, Vicky Ranney presented on the history and context of Jackson Park and implications for the Obama Library.