President Barack Obama’s presidential library will be located in his home city of Chicago, Illinois. The decision was announced by the Barack Obama Foundation on May 12.
The institution will be hosted by the University of Chicago. The University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York City, and the University of Hawaii were considered top choices to host the library as well.
More specifically, the library will be located on the South Side of the Windy City, the neighborhood where First Lady Michelle Obama grew up.
“With a library and foundation on the South Side of Chicago, not only will we be able to encourage and effect change locally, but what we can also do is attract a world to Chicago,” the President said in a video (shown below) for the foundation’s website.
“All the strands of my life came together, and I really became a man after I moved to Chicago,” the President continued. "The people there, the community, the lessons that I learned -- they're all based right in this few square miles where we'll now be able to give something back and bring the world back home after this incredible journey.”
The First Lady also commented on the decision, saying, “I am thrilled to be able to put this resource in the heart of a neighborhood that means the world to me."
Here is the full announcement, courtesy of the Barack Obama Foundation:
The family owns a home near the university, but it is unknown if the Obama family plans on returning to Chicago at the end of Obama’s tenure as commander-in-chief.
The University of Chicago also released a statement, thanking the President and the First Lady for choosing their location.
“We are deeply appreciative that President Obama, Mrs. Obama, and the Barack Obama Foundation selected Chicago’s South Side as the home for the Obama Presidential Center, a decision that creates major opportunities for the South Side and the city of Chicago,” Robert Zimmer, the University of Chicago’s President, said about the decision.
Like past presidential libraries, the Barack Obama Foundation now has the tough task of raising enough capital to build and maintain the facility. USA Today reported that the George W. Bush President at Southern Methodist University raised over $500 million before opening in April 2013.
The center is also expected to have a significant impact on the city, creating nearly 2,000 permanent jobs. The library and museum are expected to open by 2021.
Photo Credit: HOK