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Obama Foundation to Host Public Meeting to Receive Feedback on Zoning Application and Obama Presidential Center Design

February 15, 2018 at 8:45 AM CST

Chicago, IL – Today, the Obama Foundation announced that it will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, February 27 at McCormick Place in Chicago to continue its ongoing community discussion about the design and development of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), as well as the Foundation's initiatives and programs and the OPC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Tod Williams, Billie Tsien, and Dina Griffin, the architects for the OPC; Michael Van Valkenburgh, the lead landscape architect for the OPC; and members of the Lakeside Alliance construction management team will join members of the Foundation’s senior leadership team at the public meeting. The meeting will be open to the public.

Doors at McCormick Place will open at 5:00pm.

Members of the public can RSVP here (Opens in a new tab). RSVPs are not required to attend the meeting, but are suggested. Individuals unable to attend the public meeting can submit questions and comments on here. Information on media credentials for members of the press will be sent out at a later date.

The meeting will continue the community conversation that the Foundation started in May 2017 when it first announced its early concepts for the OPC. Using input and ideas gathered from numerous meetings over the past eight months, the Foundation is aiming to bring the OPC before the City of Chicago Plan Commission later this spring.

This meeting will be another opportunity for community voices to help inform the plans for the OPC and to again provide a forum for expressing community views and answering questions about the project.

“We appreciate the time and engagement we’ve seen from our neighbors on the South Side and across the city,” said David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation.  “People have joined us at public meetings, shared their views online, and invited us into their homes and organizations to share their thoughts and ideas.  The plan we present today is stronger as a result of this collaboration and we want to thank all those who have participated in and continue to be part of this process.”

Last month, the Obama Foundation submitted planned development and lakefront protection ordinance applications to the City of Chicago for the OPC. This filing included a number of changes that resulted from community feedback, including relocating the parking facility to an underground location within Jackson Park; keeping and honoring the Women’s Garden at the north end of the site; refining the design of the Museum Building to better symbolize the hope and inspiration that is at the center of the Foundations mission; and dispersed play areas across the site. In January, the City of Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Park District also submitted lakefront protection ordinance applications to the Plan Commission for other changes within Jackson Park.

The February public meeting will include an overview of the current plans for the Obama Presidential Center with breakout discussions around topics including:

  • Designing the Obama Presidential Campus: Buildings & Landscape

  • Inside the Obama Presidential Center: the Visitor Experience and Programming

  • Economic Impact

  • Chicago Park District’s Plans for New Track and Turf Field

  • Chicago Department of Transportation Proposed Transportation Changes and Improvements for Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Drivers

Representatives from the Obama Foundation, Chicago Department of Transportation, and Chicago Park District will lead the breakout discussions and take feedback and questions from the public during the meeting.

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and Interactive Design Architects lead the design team of the Obama Presidential Center. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), Site Design Group, and Living Habitats serve as the project’s landscape architects. Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Civic Projects LLC, Normal, Amanda Williams, Andres Hernandez, and Norman Teague lead the museum exhibition design team. The “Center Consortium” of Jones Lang LaSalle, McKissack & McKissack, and Ardmore Roderick are providing project management services for the OPC. Lakeside Alliance, a joint venture consisting of Turner Construction Company, and the Presidential Partners consortium of Powers & Sons Construction, UJAMAA Construction, Brown & Momen, and Safeway Construction, are serving as the construction manager for the OPC.


Contact: Kate Berner, [email protected]