Skip to content

Building the Center

We’re building a welcoming, vibrant campus where people from across the street or from around the globe can come to get inspired, find common ground, and take action.

NBA-size courts, gymnasium and community space to open in 2025

See the plans for the 45,000-square-foot multipurpose athletic and events facility coming to the Obama Presidential Center.

Learn more
President Obama tilts his head upwards along with out-of-focus onlookers. A digital screen shows something out of focus behind him.
  • Watch
  • Barack Obama

Get a sneak peek at a four-story digital wall that will celebrate the “Power of Words” and pay homage to the first digital President.

Learn more
On a clear blue-sky day, President Obama stands in a hard hat and a brightly colored safety vest at the Obama Presidential construction site and signs a beam. A large group of construction workers with various skin tones also wearing safety clothing surround him.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

The Museum Building at the Obama Presidential Center has reached its final height of 225 feet.

Learn more
A low angle shot shows workers on an orange basket lift affixing a panel of “Tapestry” stone to the lower west face of the Museum Building. A cloudy sunny sky is in the background.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Check out the latest construction update at the Obama Presidential Center.

Learn more
President Obama is smiling wearing sunglasses, a white hardhat with the Obama Foundation rising sun logo, gloves, and a bright orange safety vest over a long dress coat. He is holding a cup of coffee and standing next to a white woman wearing a neon yellow construction coat, hard hat, and goggles. They are walking in front of three other people with a range of light to deep skin tones wearing orange safety vests and white hard hats. They are all walking in an unfinished building with scaffolding in the background.
  • Chicago
  • Barack Obama

See the latest photos and stay up-to-date on the building process.

Learn more
Representative John Lewis and President Barack Obama are sitting in a room together laughing in the middle of a conversation. Representative Lewis is sitting on a couch on the left-hand side of the image with his hands placed on his left knee. He is an older, brown-skinned man with a bald head. He is wearing a blue suit, with a white button-down shirt, and a blue tie. The couch Rep. Lewis is sitting on, is the color brown. President Obama is sitting on the right side of the image in a beige chair. He is wearing a black suit with a blue button-down shirt. His arms are placed on the side of the chair. In the room of the image is a beige coffee table with a large blue book on top of it. On the front of the book is the number, “44.” The room has beige walls with pictures on the left side. On the wall are three pictures: the largest picture features a blue background and the figure of a man’s arms and head; the second largest picture is an image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking during the March on Washington; the smallest picture is indistinguishable. In the room there is a small brown side table that sits between Rep. John Lewis and President Barack Obama. On the side table is a table lamp with a white lamp shade and two framed pictures.
  • Presidential History
  • Changemakers

Learn about the work of civil rights icon John Lewis and his influence on President Obama and the Obama Foundation.

Learn more
Michelle Obama is sitting at a wood table surrounded by young teens from the Ludzi Girls Secondary School in Malawi. In the image Michelle Obama has braids in her hair and is wearing a gray and black geometric shirt, with a series of gold bangles on her left wrist; she is smiling and clapping her hands together. Sitting on both sides of her and across from her are young teen girls. The two sitting next to her are wearing white button-down shirts. The young girl to her left is clasping his hands and smiling at her. Across from Michelle Obama are the backs of two young teen girls, who are staring at her. Both girls have closely cut hair; the boy on the left of the image is wearing a white button down shirt. The girl  on the right of the image is wearing a bright blue collared shirt.
  • Michelle Obama
  • Presidential History

Learn how Michelle Obama’s legacy is shaping the Obama Presidential Center.

Learn more
A view of the Museum Building rising to the sky on the site of the Obama Presidential Center. Cranes are in the sky as work continues on the garage rooftop. Construction equipment is scattered throughout.
  • Chicago
  • First Look

The days may be getting cooler, but things are heating up at the Obama Presidential Center!

Learn more
On a clear day, a crane rises up behind a concrete building that’s under construction. In the foreground sits a rust-colored industrial trash bin and to the right, a construction worker wearing a white hard hat and yellow safety vest looks down at a pile of building material.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

It has been a season of great progress! The height of the stair and elevator wells have passed the halfway-point of the building.

Learn more
A construction worker in a white hard hat and orange safety vest looks at a structure as he stands on  the concrete floor of Museum Building Level 3
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Construction has reached the third floor, where a reconstruction of the Obama Oval Office will be on exhibit.

Learn more
Brandon Breaux, a Black man with a deep skin tone, stands over five seated students. On the table is an iPad and illustrations. He is wearing a mint beanie. Space art is on the wall in the background.
  • First Look
  • The Arts

Artist Brandon Breaux and Dyett High School students showcase the power of culture and community.

Learn more
A massive crane stands high above a construction site.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Work on the Museum building has reached an exciting milestone with the placement of the street level deck to form the concrete floor at this level.

Learn more
A construction site with scaffolding, concrete and rebar. Two people wear neon yellow and hard hats on the right side.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Major structural work on the underground parking garage is complete!

Learn more
Dina Griffin, a Black woman with a light medium skin tone, holds a closed lip smile. She has shoulder length hair and is wearing a drop pearl necklace. An Illinois flag and an American flag are in the background.
  • Chicago
  • The Center

Hear from a South Side native and architect building the Obama Presidential Center.

Learn more
Crystal Moten, PhD, a Black woman with brown locs and a medium deep skin tone, smiles at the camera. She is wearing an orange blouse, blue beaded necklace, and red lipstick. In the background is a plant and gray curtain
  • Chicago
  • Community Engagement

Meet the women behind the Obama Presidential Center

Learn more
Two construction workers wearing bright orange and yellow vests appear to unload planks of wood. They stand in a cavernous room of concrete filled with insulation and other building materials.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

As the Center continues to take shape, we are thrilled to reach a new milestone in its construction.

Learn more
A woman with a medium-deep skin tone wearing an orange, gray, and yellow construction jacket and helmet looks up toward the sky while on a construction site. There are cranes in the background.
  • Chicago
  • Equality

Learn how we're getting local residents involved in the building trades.

Learn more
A building being constructed of concrete. Beams and rebar can be seen in scaffolding.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Construction at The Center has picked up considerably since the holidays, aided by the unseasonably mild weather.

Learn more


 A wide shot of the construction on the site of the Obama Presidential Center in the daytime.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

As construction of the Obama Presidential Center enters its second year, the focus is almost entirely on concrete.

Learn more
missing
  • Chicago
  • Community Engagement

The organization is on track to meet its ambitious workforce and business diversity goals for construction.

Learn more
A construction site showing scaffolding and rebar
  • Chicago
  • Stories

The majority of columns for the lower level of the parking garage have been cast and construction of the concrete walls is nearly complete.

Learn more
People wearing neon yellow safety gear gather around Barack Obama as he shakes hands with a woman in the center. A white tarp is behind them.
  • Barack Obama
  • Chicago

Watch as President Obama surprises the construction crew and tours the site.

Learn more
A wide view of a construction site with metal pilings and rebar.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Mass excavation and earth retention is complete and the focus is now squarely on concrete operations.

Learn more

An animation shows people ranging of all ages and skin tones, enjoying the Obama Presidential Center
  • Michelle Obama
  • Watch

From our earliest days of planning, we always knew we wanted to have a Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the future Obama Presidential Center

Learn more
In a room full of warm, dappled sunlight, former First Lady Michelle Obama leans down to hug her mother, Marian Robinson. Mrs. Robinson has her face against Mrs. Obama's, and embraces her with her hand.
  • Michelle Obama
  • Watch

Learn more about Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, and how she will be honored at the Obama Presidential Center.

Learn more
A construction site with concrete and scaffolding. A building is at the center with a red scaffold in the middle.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Two tower cranes were installed to facilitate the construction of the Garage and Museum Building.

Learn more
A construction site filled with mud and concrete. Large metal tubing is on either side and a wood staircase is in the back center of the frame.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

A metal perimeter around the subterranean level of the main buildings and parking garage will prevent water from infiltrating the buildings.

Learn more
A black and white photo shows three airmen seated in a military truck in conversation.
  • Equality
  • Changemakers

It all started with an interview with Tuskegee Airman Colonel William R. Thompson.

Learn more
A wide shot of snow-covered ground and buildings in the background. The sun is shining in a blue sky.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Progress on constructing the Obama Presidential Center continues with relatively few inclement weather delays.

Learn more
A group of baton twirlers smile to camera for a group photo.
  • First Look
  • Michelle Obama

In a special message, former First Lady Michelle Obama reflects on the life of Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed by gun violence in 2013. She also shared how the late teen will be honored at the Obama Presidential Center.

Learn more
President and Mrs. Obama hug a group of program participants at the Obama Foundation Summit.
  • Watch
  • Barack Obama

Celebrating our first five years with five ways we’re making a difference

Learn more
A snowy, muddy construction site with the rectangular outline of metal and red pipe.
  • Chicago
  • Sustainability

Drilling for geothermal wells is nearly complete, and work to connect the wells through a series of lateral ducts is about a third of the way finished.

Learn more
 President Obama and Michelle Obama stand outside during the day shaking hands with youth. They have a ranging of medium to deep skin tones
  • Chicago
  • The Arts

Revisit the highlights from our work in 2021, which included breaking ground on the Obama Presidential Center, recognizing important milestones from President and Mrs. Obama’s time in office, empowering and connecting leaders around the world, and more.

Learn more
Two men in neon yellow construction jackets and hardhats stand waist-deep in a dirt trench. Behind them are construction vehicles and a blue sky with buildings.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Drilling began for the first caissons that will support the underground parking garage.

Learn more
People explore the sky room of the future Obama Presidential Center
  • Chicago
  • Equality

This event will bring members of the disabilities community up to speed on the current approach to inclusive design at the OPC.

Learn more
Timuel Black smiles to camera.
  • Chicago
  • Changemakers

Read Michael Strautmanis' reflection on his friend and mentor, Dr. Timuel Black, who passed away on Wednesday, October 13.

Learn more
undefined

Sign up for our newsletter

The Obama Foundation will have projects, programs, and digital networks all over the world. We are looking for passionate people from your community to join us. Will you join us?