The Obama Presidential Center
In the months and years to come, our charge is to create an engaging and welcoming place that will inspire people globally to show up for the most important office in any democracy — that of citizen. The Center will be based on the South Side of Chicago but have projects all over the city, the country, and the world.
The Obama Presidential Center will be a living, working center — an ongoing project where we will shape, together, what it means to be a good citizen in the 21st century.
President and Mrs. Obama chose to build the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side to give back to the community that has given them so much. The Center will strengthen the economic climate in our community by bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to Chicago every year, creating new jobs on the South Side, and revitalizing historic Jackson Park in the process.
The Obama Foundation — our board, staff, and volunteers — are honored to work side by side with community leaders and local institutions, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum, the University of Chicago, and the City of Chicago on these efforts.
The Obama Presidential Center and its landscape design will blend seamlessly with Jackson Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.
A Center for Civic Engagement: The Center will be a place for doing. It will include classrooms, labs, and outdoor spaces, and it will conduct programs that provide visitors with experiences that inspire and tools to make things happen in their own communities.
The campus will be open to the public, and the Center will include indoor and outdoor spaces for events, trainings, and other gatherings.
Open Design: The Center is designed to re-establish the South Side’s connection to the Lagoon and Lake Michigan. Set in the public space of Jackson Park, the Center’s campus will invite visitors to flow through the architecture and into the park. This approach will soften the transition between city, landscape, lagoon, and lake.
Sustainability: The Center will be a real-life symbol of the President and Mrs. Obama’s commitment to sustainability. The project will, at a minimum, be LEED v4 Platinum, and we are exploring the possibility to surpass those qualifications.
The Center is designed as a campus to integrate into historic Jackson Park and to encourage local residents and visitors alike to explore the community and bring people together for events, recreation, and programming. We believe the Center will restore the promise of Jackson Park as the “people’s park,” building upon its history as a recreational destination for gathering on the South Side for families, community members, and visitors.
President and Mrs. Obama chose to build the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side, in part, to give back to the community that has given them so much. The Foundation is honored to be working alongside community leaders and local institutions, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum, the University of Chicago, and City of Chicago on these efforts.
Get a glimpse of what’s happening in our community:
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Through participatory and immersive experiences, the Center will tell Barack and Michelle Obama’s story, while lifting the hood on the mechanics of change and inspiring visitors to spark their own.