Barack and Michelle Obama Reveal Plans for the Obama Presidential Center

Addressing criticism that their plans would undermine the landscape of Chicago’s historic Jackson Park, backers of the Obama Presidential Center on Tuesday revealed major revisions that include a sleeker version of the center’s museum tower. Portions of the revamped tower’s outside walls would consist of screens made of stone letters, making the tower airier while suggesting the importance of words in Barack Obama’s presidency. On Wednesday, the Obama Foundation formally submitted its plans to the Chicago Plan Commission in an effort to win approval this spring so it can break ground by the end of the year and open the Center in 2021. “We have a sense of urgency about this project. People are anxious to have this come to life,” said Michael Strautmanis, the Foundation’s VP of Civic Engagement. Michelle Obama revealed the plans for the Obama Presidential Center on Instagram. And in a video distributed by the Foundation, Barack Obama said the museum tower represents “ascension, hope and what ordinary people have the power to do together.” See the video here.

Tiffany D. Cross