Proposed architecture for Obama's Presidential Center released

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

According to Crain's, shortly after the statement was sent, the foundation announced it would eliminate the above-ground parking garage on the east end of the Midway Plaisance, and instead create a parking garage underneath the center in Jackson Park. The former First Lady shared several sketches and a photo of Barack Obama looking at a diorama of the upcoming space, which will be in Chicago's South Side neighborhood. As revised by original drafters Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Interactive Design Architects, the project's centerpiece tower will now rise to 225 feet while getting thinner and more transparent.

Among the changes made from the initial design are increased landscaping, the creation of an underground parking lot, a taller structure, additions for youth entertainment, changes to transportation in the area and more.

Its goals are to provide opportunities for civic engagement, enhance public safety in an around the park, and bring jobs and economic opportunity to Chicago's South Side.

Crews are expected to break ground later this year and open doors in 2021. 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. It will be composed of eight floors and will feature public spaces including a top floor with views of the park and Lake Michigan.

"So too, each facade of our four-sided tower will be a little different from the next". A forum building for community events and programming, an athletic center for the community, outdoor plaza and library building will also be built in honor of Obama's legacy. "People are anxious to have this come to life", said Michael Strautmanis, the foundation's vice president of civic engagement.

Plans for the development were submitted Wednesday.

Obama once wanted to be an architect, in 2011 he said, "When I was younger, there was a time I dreamed of being an architect".

Obama took said he took a hands-on approach in designing the Obama Presidential Center. And that's why public input has been absolutely central to our process.

We urge the Obama Foundation to explore alternative sites on the South Side that could be developed with more economic benefits, better public transportation, and less cost to taxpayers.

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