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Old Posted Jan 25, 2014, 3:50 PM
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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.......
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