Skip to content

Let’s Get to Work: Obama Presidential Center Groundbreaking set for 2021

A rendering depiction of the Plaza at the Obama Presidential Center.

After the completion of a careful federal regulatory review process, we’re thrilled to announce that we plan to break ground on the Obama Presidential Center in 2021! Watch a special message from President Obama below, then learn more about our plans here.

Obama Presidential Center groundbreaking set for 2021

From the beginning, Michelle and I knew there was only one place for the Obama Presidential Center: the South Side of Chicago. It’s where I met Michelle. Just a couple miles from where she grew up. Where Sasha and Malia were born. Where I became a community organizer and won my first election.

The past 12 months have been among the most challenging in our history. I know they’ve hit Chicago hard, particularly for residents on the South and West sides who have shouldered devastating health consequences from COVID-19, faced higher unemployment rates, and more.

But hopefully, 2021 offers a turning point for our nation and our city. And we also hope that the groundbreaking of the Obama Presidential Center can be an important part of that change.

The Center will create jobs and economic opportunity, especially for South Side residents—because we believe the team that’s building the Center should look like the community it calls home. And through the museum, the Center will be a place to honor history while inspiring young people to write chapters of their own — giving them the tools, resources, and connections they need to create change in their own communities.

Today, with the conclusion of a careful federal review process that spanned several years, we’re ready to get to work. Through this process, we’ve shown that our plans for the Obama Presidential Center—including new gardens, playgrounds, walking trails, and bike paths for all to enjoy—won’t just preserve historic Jackson Park, they’ll bring opportunity and breathe new life into the community we love.

Getting to this point wouldn’t have been possible without the folks in the community who have been a part of this process along the way. Michelle and I want to thank you for making this project even better. A space for the community, built in partnership with the community. We know that by working together, we can unlock the South Side’s fullest potential—and help set up our city, our country, and our world for even better years still to come.

Thanks, everybody. We look forward to seeing you soon.