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Old Posted Nov 1, 2018, 12:16 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The Big Onion
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City Council unanimously approves use agreement for Obama Presidential Center
The Chicago City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation that outlines how the Obama Foundation will be able to use the Obama Presidential Center once it is built in Jackson Park.

Once constructed, the facility will be turned over to the city, which will own the buildings. The foundation will be able to occupy the buildings and use them for 99 years in exchange for a one-time $10 fee. The legislation also outlines how some roadways will be adjusted to make way for the $500 million campus.

“We’ve come full circle by bringing a presidential center to the South Side of Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said to applauding aldermen. “It’s been a long journey. … I got a little older in the process.


During his remarks, Emanuel read a letter he said was written by former President Barack Obama thanking the council for supporting development of the center.

“I am so excited and grateful that today the Obama Foundation received approval … on the agreement that will help bring the Obama Presidential Center to life as a resource and amenity for the people of Chicago,” Obama wrote in his letter. “Michelle and I could not be prouder or more excited to bring the center to the South Side, a community that has given us both so much.”

Obama repeated the statement on a video released by the foundation on Twitter moments after the vote.


Still, the foundation’s top brass applauded the City Council vote as a victory and said they plan to continue pushing forward. The use agreement will allow the foundation to occupy 19.3 acres of Jackson Park.

Unlike other museums, the center will not receive any city financial subsidies and the foundation will pay for operating the facility. The foundation will have to create an endowment and document to city officials that it has the money to both build and operate the facility independently.

“We’ll keep working on it and push it to the finish line,” said Martin Nesbitt, chairman of the foundation’s board.
"Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world." -Frank Lloyd Wright
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