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nomarandlee Nov 25, 2013 1:28 AM

CHICAGO | Obama Presidential Library

UIC makes bid for Obama presidential library and museum

By Jennifer Delgado

Tribune reporter

5:35 p.m. CST, November 24, 2013
The University of Illinois at Chicago announced Sunday that it wants to house President Barack Obama’s future library and museum, joining a growing list of contenders.
UIC is exploring at least five sites on its West Side campus, said university spokesman Bill Burton. The university started discussing the idea of an Obama presidential library in May and is waiting for the White House to make an announcement before possibly moving forward with any proposals, he said.........

Several other sites are also in the mix, including the University of Hawaii, Chicago State University and the University of Chicago, where Obama taught. The former U.S. Steel South Works site on the Southeast Side and an undeveloped 48-acre parcel on the Near South Side have also been discussed...........


nomarandlee Nov 25, 2013 1:41 AM

I thought since UIC is now the first institution to come out and make a play for the future library that the ball will start rolling soon on locations and players for the future library in the near future. Yes, speculation can be silly but also fun. What precise locations do you think are a good fit for the library...........

My top locations

1. Washington Park - Garfield Park Blvd/MLK Dr. - A great potential TOD site right next to Chicago's Washington Park. A very depressed African-American neighborhood that could use a big jolt. A few blocks from the UofChicago which is positive given that I've heard the Libraries and colleges prefer off campus locations.,,0,-11.78

2. Downtown location - I think a great location could be the huge lot on the river just south of the NBC tower and east of the Gleacher Center (UofC Booths school building). It would be a great addition to the river and with the Gleacher Center make a cool educational campus right in the heart of downtown.

3. Southworks site - Not as much of a fan as some others. However it would be a great anchor to a neighborhood in south Chicago that would provide a completely blank slate. You could give it a lakeside/park location and it would still be close to UofC and Obamas home.

4. Midway Plaisance - Somewhere along the Midway Plaisance.........
Either at Stoney Island/60th

or Cottage Grove Ave/60th

or MLK Drive/60th

LouisVanDerWright Nov 25, 2013 2:06 AM

I think I said it a while ago on Curbed or on here, but the best possible site in my mind is the West side of Washington Park on that enormous lot at Garfield and MLK. There is no better location than that in my mind. Top reasons it should be located there:

1. Close to U of C, this is crucial because of Obama's history there and the fact that it will be a huge boon to U of C's academics (particularly the history department) to have a presidential library (particularly one of such historical importance, see below) on their campus.

2. Close to the Green Line, could even be incorporated with a rebuilt Green Line station to further spur redevelopment. This is obviously important so that the library is accessible to the rest of the city. This is also why it should absolutely NOT go to the Southworks site

3. Follows U of C's pattern of jumping it's campus to the other side of the Midway, except taking a bigger leap all the way across the park.

4. It will obviously spur much needed redevelopment in this area.

5. It is a historically appropriate site for the presidential library of the first African American president who began his career community organizing on the South Side. Even the street name (MLK drive) plays to this historical relevance. This could even potentially be expanded to a "mini museum campus" and have other relevant institutions moved to the area such as an expand DuSable Museum perhaps on the West side of the tracks creating a mecca for African American history.

sentinel Nov 25, 2013 3:54 AM

I always envisioned it in my mind's eye between Stony Island and the Stony island metra stop along the Midway Plaisance, there's a nice and sizable chunk of land there and it's relatively easy to get to as well. Again, this is assuming that he would want it built on campus there, due to his past association with U of C.

untitledreality Nov 26, 2013 1:41 AM


Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6351694)
3. Follows U of C's pattern of jumping it's campus to the other side of the Midway, except taking a bigger leap all the way across the park.

Considering that UC has just opened an arts incubator space on the SE corner of Garfield and Prairie, and has made other piecemeal land acquisitions in the same area I see this being the location if it goes to UC.

1. Close to Obama's home.
2. Close to UC.
3. Depressed urban neighborhood.
4. Mass Transit adjacent.
5. Highway accessible.
6. On MLK Drive.
7. On Washington Park.

Can anywhere else even hold a candle to this location?

rgolch Dec 18, 2013 7:21 PM

From Crain's yesterday:

Who's who in Chicago's fight for the Obama library

sukwoo Dec 18, 2013 11:11 PM

Obama’s Library, Advisers’ Dream
WASHINGTON — This spring, a longtime staff member for President Obama, Alyssa Mastromonaco, let a friend in on a secret. Mr. Obama had assigned her to begin planning his post-presidential library and foundation.

It was a plum task. Amid a worsening crisis in Syria, early reports of ghosts haunting the machine and a dreary sense of second-term setbacks, the foundation glowed with the allure of an eternal Obama afterlife, or at least better days ahead. For Ms. Mastromonaco, the project promised the chance to shape a historic legacy and draft a road map for a 55-year-old former president’s remaining life’s work.

nomarandlee Jan 8, 2014 9:29 PM


Obama’s Library, Advisers’ Dream

Published: December 16, 2013

........Already, suitors from Mr. Obama’s home and adopted states — and even New York, where he lived for two years as an undergraduate — are expressing interest in landing the library. But it is Chicago where the competition is most fierce.

“I’m going to make sure that the city of Chicago is well positioned,” said its mayor and Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who argued that “a world-class library” would serve as an engine of economic development and be a natural fit for the Obamas. “We’re not just relying on the family historical foundations, that this is where he launched his public life, where his wife’s from and the hometown where his kids were educated, though I’m happy to remind him of it.” ...........

On a recent Friday evening, the president and Michelle Obama hosted an intimate dinner at the White House residence with Mr. Emanuel, as well as some of Mr. Obama’s wealthiest supporters, including the entertainment mogul Haim Saban and the Chicago billionaires James S. Crown and Michael Sacks. The very fact of the dinner struck some Obama insiders as indicative of an effort to soften up big targets for an eventual ask.............

A couple of months ago, Mr. Nesbitt, the outside leader of the library effort, met with Mr. Crown, a friend and University of Chicago trustee, to discuss the school’s effort to land the project.

“We are getting some indications of places that are interested,” Mr. Crown recalled Mr. Nesbitt saying.

“Who else is interested?” Mr. Crown said.

“Other places in Chicago, Hawaii,” Mr. Nesbitt replied. “And New York.”

The prospect of the Obama library ending up anywhere other than Chicago — and especially New York — is mortifying to a city that plays such a central role in Mr. Obama’s political narrative. This is the place where the itinerant outsider found a community, a wife, raised his children and laid his roots. It’s the place where he skyrocketed to political stardom, and the home base for many of his closest political advisers and best friends............

John Rogers, an Obama family friend and University of Chicago trustee, argued that a South Side library for the first black president would create a “perfect symmetry” with Lincoln’s library and museum in Springfield. He declined to comment on his conversations with the Obamas and other administration intimates about the subject, but said, “We are a research university; we are studying how others have gotten this done.” .........

nomarandlee Jan 25, 2014 3:50 PM


Emanuel wants 1 pitch for Obama library

Some rivals worry they'll be left out

By Dahleen Glanton and Katherine Skiba, Tribune reporters

January 25, 2014

As President Barack Obama prepares to launch a foundation to oversee plans for his presidential library and museum, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is making it clear that he will play a key role in determining where the project is built if Chicago is chosen as the site.

Emanuel, who previously has been vague about the city's role in an Obama library, hopes to see a single proposal from Chicago, his aides said Friday......

In the coming days, the White House will officially announce that there will be an Obama presidential library and that Chicago business executive Marty Nesbitt will lead the site selection process, a source familiar with the plans said Friday..........

In the past year, a half-dozen sites in Chicago have emerged as possible locations for the Obama library. Supporters have independently made a case as to why their site would be most attractive.

The University of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood is considered by some to be the front-runner. Obama was a member of the law school faculty for 12 years, and the university has a deep list of financial backers.

But the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, the University of Illinois at Chicago on the Near West Side and Chicago State University on the South Side have also expressed interest.

Emanuel's plan for a single proposal did not sit well with some competitors, particularly those in African-American communities that had hoped the library would bring an economic boon to impoverished neighborhoods......

Although the University of Chicago has not released details of its plans, a spokesman previously said it is possible that the library and museum could be built off-campus if it is selected as the host. Washington Park, which borders the university, has been mentioned as a possible site.......

nomarandlee Mar 7, 2014 4:10 AM


Race for Obama library gets serious

By Paul Merrion March 05, 2014

The bidding war for President Barack Obama's presidential library is expected to formally get underway next week.

Chicago, where the president spent his early career, is vying to put it somewhere on the South Side. New York, where he went to college, and his birthplace of Hawaii are also contenders. Like other presidential libraries, it's expected to be a big draw for tourists and create other economic spinoffs.

House Speaker Michael Madigan underscored Chicago's thirst for the project with a bill introduced yesterday that would steer $100 million in capital development funds............

• Video: Where will Obama's library be?

Madigan wants state to spend $100 million on Obama library
By Ray Long and Maura Zurick

Tribune reporters
8:08 p.m. CST, March 4, 2014

........The speaker joined fellow Democratic Chicago Rep. Monique Davis in introducing legislation to make the construction money available as the sweepstakes to secure the Obama library shifts into a higher gear.......
U. of C. declines to push specific site for Obama library

President should pick Chicago location, university official says
By Dahleen Glanton and Jodi S. Cohen, Tribune reporters

9:59 p.m. CST, March 6, 2014

The University of Chicago has been working behind the scenes to get competing factions to collaborate on a unified bid to build the Obama presidential library in Chicago, but U. of C. officials said Thursday that they won't select a neighborhood for the library — the president and first lady will.............

Foundation taking bids for Obama library
By Dahleen Glanton and Melissa Harris

Tribune reporters

8:35 p.m. CST, January 31, 2014

........Shortly after the foundation was announced, the U. of C. issued a statement confirming its intention to bid for the library and build it at a location off campus. The site has yet to be determined, but a source familiar with the plans said the Washington Park neighborhood is under consideration.........

bnk Mar 7, 2014 5:47 AM

The city will present one unified bid. The UC and their close environs is the really only place it belongs. Forget NYC or HI. Its going to be in Chicago if we don't rip ourselves apart fighting it over it.

ardecila Mar 10, 2014 11:44 PM

I agree with Washington Park - hopefully not IN the park but along Garfield to the west. It would establish a gateway into Hyde Park from the Dan Ryan/Red Line and help to turn around a struggling area. It's really a win-win that addresses the biggest site-selection concerns.

nomarandlee Mar 20, 2014 9:56 PM


Obama library officials allow parties to make their bid

By Dahleen Glanton

Tribune reporter

3:13 p.m. CDT, March 20, 2014

The foundation established to lead the development of President Obama’s library and museum opened the door Thursday for institutions and groups to begin making a pitch to host the site.

The Barack Obama Foundation issued its long-awaited Request for Qualifications on its newly named website, inviting applicants to provide information about how their proposal would impact the community and how it would reflect the president’s vision........

The University of Chicago has said it plans to bid for the library and build it at a location off campus, preferably on the mid-South Side. The university has pulled together a coalition of business leaders and representatives from community organizations on the South Side to work on the bid in an advisory capacity, officials said.

Chicago State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago also plan to bid. Representatives in Pullman, Woodlawn and the Southeast Side also have expressed interest.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, however, has said that there would be a unified proposal from the city, but he has not said how that bid would come together. A single proposal, the mayor said last month, would strengthen Chicago's chances of getting the library.

Other challenges are expected to come from Columbia University in New York and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu..........

bnk Mar 24, 2014 12:14 AM

Natasha Sasha Obama

March 6.

PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HAVE TWO PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES HONORING HIM. Chicago city officials have held several meetings with officials to work out a plan that will ensure that President Obama gets two presidential libraries honoring him. Officials discussed the possibility of having a presidential library along with an Obama institute in Chicago and a presidential center comprising of a smaller library, a museum and an Obama think tank in Hawaii. This will cost over 800 million dollars according to officials from Hawaii and Chicago. What do you make of this?

Mad Dash to Land Home for Obama’s Presidential Library

Abby D. Phillip

Mar 20, 2014 4:47pm

The search for the home of President Obama’s legacy has officially begun.

Today, the Barack Obama Foundation announced it will start fielding preliminary information from potential cities that will bid to host Obama’s presidential library.

Among the cities known to be competing in the bidding process that the Foundation has pledged will be “open and accessible,” are Chicago, Honolulu and New York City.

The “request for qualifications” is just the first step in a process that will take over a year to complete.

Initially, the foundation is seeking logistical, financial and organizational details from prospective bidders, which should include information about access to transportation and community information that would make their site suitable for the library.

“Our goal is to build a library of which the whole country, and hopefully the whole world, can be proud,” said Marty Nesbitt, a member of the foundation board and a close friend of Obama’s. ...

Obama has entrusted Nesbitt, Chicago businessman Kevin Poorman, and Obama campaign veteran Julianna Smoot to lead the process.

Qualifying information is due by July 16 and in the summer the committee will request official proposals from the most competitive applicants. In the meantime...

Here are four things you need to know about the jousting for rights to Obama’s presidential library.

1) Bids will come from far and wide

Chicago is believed to have the strongest chance of winning out–both the president and the first lady have strong ties to the city. But the city isn’t taking any chances, and it may have some difficulty whittling down their own crowded field of potential host sites.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama’s former chief of staff, has made it clear that he doesn’t want the city’s educational institutions fighting amongst themselves for the presidential library.


The competition is also steep among non-Chicago bidders.

Columbia University in New York, ...

But there’s also sunny Hawaii, which has perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing pitch.

The state boasts proudly of being President Obama’s childhood home and has already set aside some prime oceanfront property that could house a presidential facility.

2) Things are heating up

Lobbying has been going on for years now, but ...

Bids will be formally accepted in May and the decision is expected by early 2015, according to the Barack H. Obama Foundation.

3) Could Obama spread the love?


4) Money Talks

Earlier this month, Illinois dropped a not-so-subtle $100 million hint that it wants to draw Obama back to Chicago.

Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chair Michael Madigan announced a bill that would devote $100 million in state funding toward an Obama library project.

The proposal comes, to say the least, a little early, but it is intended to send a clear signal that the state wants to add taxpayer funds to the equation when it comes to funding the library.


Cities with Obama loyalists with deep pockets could find themselves at a distinct advantage.

OhioGuy Mar 24, 2014 1:29 AM

What about along 63rd near University Ave? The library would be positioned directly between the East 63rd-Cottage Grove L terminal approximately four blocks to the west and the 63rd Street Metra station approximately four blocks to the east.

Behold! Michael Sorkin's Proposal for Obama's Presidential Library in Chicago's Woodlawn Neighborhood

untitledreality Mar 25, 2014 2:08 AM


Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 6508423)
What about along 63rd near University Ave? The library would be positioned directly between the East 63rd-Cottage Grove L terminal approximately four blocks to the west and the 63rd Street Metra station approximately four blocks to the east.

Good luck getting people to walk either of those four blocks.

Garfield and MLK, best spot, hands down.

LouisVanDerWright Mar 25, 2014 2:35 PM


Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 6510287)
Good luck getting people to walk either of those four blocks.

Garfield and MLK, best spot, hands down.

I agree, if it ends up there I am going to claim credit for the idea since I've been saying this since the fight over the library first began! :notacrook:

LouisVanDerWright Mar 25, 2014 2:37 PM

Sounds like some of the competition might be resigned to the fact that the library is going to end up here and that they are only going to get anything if they cooperate with the Chicago bid...

Aloha, Chicago: Honolulu mayor eyes joint Obama library bid

By Paul Merrion March 25, 2014

Competition for the Barack Obama Presidential Library could cast the mayors of Chicago and Honolulu into the roles of rivals and eventual teammates.
Aides to Rahm Emanuel and Kirk Caldwell said both Democrats in their first terms as mayor have a “good working relationship” that is “very friendly,” which would help move things along if organizers of presidential library bids in both cities get past the talking stage about working together.

A collaboration would make sense in a lot of ways. While Mr. Obama launched his political career in Chicago, the Aloha State is where he was born and raised.

Hawaii reportedly plans to make a full bid for the presidential library, which is expected to cost upward of $500 million and generate huge economic spinoffs wherever it's located. But given that Chicago is better able to raise that kind of money, Hawaii also is interested in creating a think tank and conference center where world leaders could discuss global issues.

The two men had a substantive meeting in September in Mr. Emanuel's office, when Mr. Caldwell was in town for a meeting of the American Public Transit Association. But recollections about the encounter differ.

A spokesman for Mr. Caldwell said they discussed “a wide range of subjects, including a presidential center.”

However, Mr. Emanuel has no recollection of that part of the conversation. “They didn't discuss the library,” said a mayoral spokeswoman, unless it was when Honolulu's mayor threw a Rahm-style joke at his host, saying something like “Come see my library.”

Their most recent get-together was impromptu, just a brief chance to shake hands and say hello when they ran into each other on the sidelines of a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington in January. But both sides said yesterday that the topic of a presidential library bid didn't come up, contrary to a Jan. 21 report in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Mr. Cardwell, 61, is a lawyer and seasoned politician who served in Hawaii's state House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008. He was House Majority Leader during his last two years in office. In July 2010 he became interim mayor of Honolulu after his predecessor resigned to run for governor. He was defeated for re-election in 2010 but was elected in 2012.

It's been previously reported that officials from the University of Chicago, one of the leading contenders to host the complex in Chicago, met with Mr. Caldwell and Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie in Hawaii in January, and a Hawaiian delegation has toured the South Side and met with university officials here...

More at Crains:

Baronvonellis Mar 25, 2014 4:34 PM

Yea, I think Garfield and MLK would be the perfect location too. I know Obama always mentioned he wanted to see a revived Washington Park neighborhood when talking about the Chicago Olympic bid. And the University of Chicago has been buying land around that area to eventually expand the university there. So the university probably owns the land there already.

Obama will only be 55 when he gets out of office, so he will have ~30 years ahead of him to conduct international affairs from Chicago at his Obama Institute.

bnk Mar 25, 2014 5:30 PM


Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6510798)
Sounds like some of the competition might be resigned to the fact that the library is going to end up here and that they are only going to get anything if they cooperate with the Chicago bid...

Aloha, Chicago: Honolulu mayor eyes joint Obama library bid


Sasha Obama reported this March 6th. Apparently he has some inside information.

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