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Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Obama Foundation Submits Revised Plans for Chicago Presidential Center

Obama Foundation Submits Revised Plans for Chicago Presidential Center

"Today's development is the next step in realizing that vision by creating a cultural destination in Jackson Park and an economic engine for the South Side and City of Chicago".

The library's design and location has been a source of controversy itself within the Chicago community. Not only are public lands being given to a private entity but the public will pay to have Cornell Drive closed and Stony Island Avenue and Lake Shore Drive widened. Some of the brilliance of Frederick Olmsted's plan for Jackson Park is dormant on on a gray January day, but spring may reveal more about what future visitors will see in the park.

Finally, the letter raises concerns about the Obama Center's cost to taxpayers.

Over 150 University professors have signed an open letter raising concerns about the Obama Foundation's plans for the Obama Center. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel served as Obama's first chief of staff in the White House.

Following the release of the letter, the Obama Foundation reached an agreement Monday to move a 450-space, above-ground parking garage below ground. Martin Nesbitt, Chair of the Obama Foundation board, said that the changes are the result of "thousands of conversations" with local residents and activists.

The center will "bring upwards of 760,000 people to the South Side every year" and "strengthen the economic climate in the region". "We've reimagined the landscape plans and the recreational spaces". But the patchwork "remedies" presented by the Obama Foundation do not address the fundamental problem of Jackson Park being the wrong choice for the center. Because, according to the professors, the Obama Presidential Center wastes millions of taxpayer dollars in an already broke state, destroys a public park and is "socially regressive" to the affluent community. The foundation has adapted plans after hearing from the community and has committed to projects and programs to improve lives on the Southside.

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