Obama Presidential Center Renderings

The Obama Presidential Center will be a place to honor the stories of those who’ve brought us to where we are today—and bring people together to chart an even brighter future. On Chicago’s South Side, the Center will offer old friends and new visitors alike the chance to explore a world-class museum and gather together for celebrations of all kinds.

The campus will add to the vitality of Jackson Park, bringing new gardens; a larger playground; and scenic paths for an early morning jog, bike ride, or an afternoon stroll. And it will do all that while creating jobs and driving economic opportunity here in Chicago and enriching the landscape of the South Side that President and Mrs. Obama have called home for so long.

The Obama Presidential Center: A Place to Get Active and Take Action 

View the latest renderings:

Obama Presidential Campus

A north-facing view of the Obama Presidential Center campus in Jackson Park.

The Obama Presidential Center represents a historic opportunity to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady, steps away from where he began his career, where she was raised, and where—together—they made their home.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Plaza

A dynamic public plaza is at the heart of the Obama Presidential Center, welcoming visitors to the campus and the Park.

A public plaza at the entry of the campus will serve as a gathering place for live performances and community festivals. The Museum building anchors the northern end of the plaza, the Forum building wraps its east side, and a new branch of the Chicago Public Library frames its southern end.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


Museum Building Courtyard

A landscaped courtyard brings natural light and greenery to the Center’s public spaces, including a café on the Garden Level of the Museum building.

The Garden Level invites visitors to share their own stories and to connect with other people’s submissions through a series of interactive programs. Here, visitors will be encouraged to commit to engaging within their own communities, finding ways they can make a difference after leaving the Obama Presidential Center and returning home. The Garden Level also features a retail shop and café that will serve locally roasted coffees, honey from onsite beehives, and fresh food made with produce from the Center’s Fruit and Vegetable Garden.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Chicago Public Library 

The new branch of the Chicago Public Library at the Obama Presidential Center.

A new branch of the Chicago Public Library will feature an interactive digital media space and a garden on its roof. Similar to the garden that Mrs. Obama planted at the White House, it will be a place where young people and community members can get their hands dirty and learn about growing fruits and vegetables—and there will even be a few bee hives for honey.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Plaza from Above 

A north-facing view of the public plaza and Museum building, as viewed from the roof of the Chicago Public Library building.

The Museum building anchors the northern end of the plaza, the Forum building wraps its east side, and the newest branch of the Chicago Public Library frames its southern end. Landscaped pathways transition visitors from the Park landscape to the planted roofs of the Library and Forum buildings which offer views of the plaza below and the Lagoon beyond.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Museum Building 

The northern facade of the Museum building, as viewed from Stony Island Avenue.

The Museum building will be a new landmark for the South Side, welcoming visitors to Jackson Park and marking the Center as an historic civic destination. The building’s height will establish visitor’s arrival to the Center and, once inside, will offer unparalleled views of the surrounding neighborhood.

The Museum building’s design embodies the idea of ascension—of a movement upward from the grassroots. Its form is inspired by the idea of four hands coming together; a recognition that many hands shape a place. Inside, exhibits will explore the fullness of the American story—from the promise of our founding documents to the movements that challenged us to live up to them. The Museum exhibits will tell the story of the volunteers who powered the campaign toward history, and will examine the eight years of progress, setback, and hope that followed.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Promenade

A north-facing view from the promenade toward the Museum building, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the lagoon.

The park will offer play areas and walking paths, all connected by a long pedestrian promenade that runs alongside Jackson Park’s beautiful and historic lagoons. By converting Cornell Drive back to parkland, the Promenade restores a scenic experience that is more consistent with Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for Jackson Park. The path features a designated bike lane and connects the Obama Presidential Center to the Museum of Science Industry with safe and direct access to the lagoon.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Women’s Garden 

The landscape of Jackson Park’s historic Women’s Garden will be restored with plantings, pathways, and seating.

The Women’s Garden preserves the signature circular form and location of the historic sunken lawn with a new enlarged perennial garden, which captures and treats rainwater, encircling the garden. It will also become more accessible by converting the roads surrounding the Garden back to parkland.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Wetland Walk

A one-acre wetland area will capture and treat stormwater and feature a Wetland Walk that threads through the area and offers a unique environment with seating, a tree canopy, and a place for children to play.

The new Wetland Walk will allow visitors to enjoy the unique wetland environment without interfering with its function to support sustainability and the long-term ecological health of the park. The area features seating built out of large stone blocks that can be used for classes, small gatherings, or simply as a spot to stop and enjoy the park.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Children’s Play Area

A dynamic two-acre play area will be a memorable place for children of all ages.

The Children’s Play Area will feature a giant playground with innovative recreation equipment for children of all ages. The design of the play area celebrates the natural environment of Jackson Park, with lagoon and woodland-themed features to stir imaginations and encourage exploration. It will offer four seasons of play with plenty of seating and shade for parents and adults.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Great Lawn at Dusk

At dusk, the Great Lawn becomes an open-air theater, with a gentle sloping view to the south.

The Great Lawn is a place for sledding in the winter, picnics in the summer, and to gather for movies in the park. The gentle slope of the site offers opportunities for activities year-round, and it will be the perfect place to get a view of Jackson Park’s beautiful lagoons.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


The Great Lawn in Winter

On snowy days, the Great Lawn becomes a sledding hill with a backdrop of the Museum building to the north.

The Great Lawn is a place for sledding in the winter, picnics in the summer, and to gather for movies in the park. The gentle slope of the site offers opportunities for activities year-round, and it will be the perfect place to get a view of Jackson Park’s beautiful lagoons.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


Campus Site Plan

The campus site plan for the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.


Campus Model View

The Obama Presidential Center model view of the plaza from S. Stony Island Blvd. The plaza sits at the heart of the campus with the museum building to the north, the forum to the east and the Chicago Public Library to the south.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

The historic comfort station at the southern end of the Obama Presidential Center model view looking north. Other public amenities nearby include the Great Lawn, picnic areas, as well as a network of walking paths.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

The Obama Presidential Center model view of the plaza and roof terraces. Visitors can explore a fruit and vegetable garden on the roof of the Chicago Public Library or enjoy views of the Plaza and the Lagoon from the adjacent roof of the Forum building.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

The Obama Presidential Center campus model view looking south with the Women’s Garden in the foreground. The Museum Building sits to the west of the site alongside S. Stony Island while the Promenade to the east will offer pedestrian access to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

Model view looking north at the Children’s Play Area located at the southern end of the Obama Presidential Center campus. The giant playground will include lagoon and woodland-themed play elements that encourage exploration and four seasons of play.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

The Obama Presidential Center campus model view looking north.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

The Obama Presidential Center campus model view looking north west. From the Promenade, visitors can pass through an opening between the Chicago Public Library Building and the Forum Building to access the plaza, or walk through the Park towards the roof terraces atop both buildings.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

The Obama Presidential Center campus model view looking north.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

The Obama Presidential Center model view looking west with the Museum Building reflected in the lagoon. The pedestrian promenade, seen in the foreground, runs alongside Jackson Park’s beautiful and historic waterfront.

Click the image to save high resolution. Credit The Obama Foundation.

 

The Lakefront Protection application can be viewed HERE, and the Rezoning application can be viewed HERE.

Top