Updates

A New Agreement for the Obama Presidential Center

Today, the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development introduced an ordinance to City Council concerning the Obama Presidential Center. That ordinance contains something called a Use Agreement—an agreement between the City and the Foundation that details the terms related to the Center and its home in Jackson Park.

Throughout the process of planning the Presidential Center, we’ve committed to working with the City to ensure that it  benefits our neighbors here in Chicago.

In that spirit, here are a few highlights from the Use Agreement:

  • The City and public will own the buildings. Once the Foundation builds the Center, its buildings will be handed over to the City and owned by the people of Chicago.
  • Unlike other museums in City parks, the Obama Presidential Center will not receive either operating or capital subsidies from the city.
  • While other museums may generally occupy their buildings in perpetuity, the Foundation’s Use Agreement has a term of 99 years, at which time any extension will require City Council approval.
  • While the Foundation will maintain the green space on the campus at our own expense, there are limitations on how we can use these outdoor spaces, with an emphasis on ensuring public access.
  • Additionally, in the Use Agreement the Foundation commits to implement museum admission pricing for City residents and low-income families that are consistent with the other museums in the park. The Foundation also commits to implement parking fees consistent with parking fees in the parking garage of the Museum of Science and Industry or the North Garage adjacent to the Field Museum and John G. Shedd Aquarium. And of course the Foundation will offer free days and free admission for students accompanied by a teacher.
  • Finally, the Use Agreement requires the Foundation to pay the prevailing wage to staff—but we have been very clear in our Community Commitments that we aim to exceed those City requirements.

You can read more about the agreement on the City’s website here.

Onward!

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