ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2018

Obama presidential center redesigned before Chicago city review

12 January 2018, 09:14 | Myron Mathis

AP File

AP File

Obama released images of the proposed presidential center Tuesday in a YouTube video, showing a white, modern-looking building surrounded by parkland.

The letter hammered the Obama Foundation's plans to build a 450-space parking lot, saying that it is "socially regressive" because it privileges people who can afford to have a auto. We want to create an economic engine for Chicago and the South Side, and a cultural destination that showcases the South Side to the rest of the world.

Located in Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago, the Obama Presidential Center will now comprise of a 235-foot-high tower (160-180-feet in previous plans) as the main building, housing a museum telling the story of Obama as well as that of civil rights and African American history.

The complex would include a museum, a public plaza, a library, and an athletic center - highlighting the Obama administration's priorities throughout Obama's time in office.

The Obama Center as now planned will not provide the promised development or economic benefits to the neighborhoods.

But now that the plans for the project have been made public, there are a number of people who believe that some changes may be necessary.

"A$3 s we've said before", wrote the Foundation, "the Obama Presidential Center will be an open, inclusive campus that integrates directly into Jackson Park"-a beloved historic park, whose reallocation for private development has drawn anger from the community the Foundation claims it intends to serve".

Despite such claims, a coalition of eight community groups on the South Side is demanding the Obama Foundation sign an agreement guaranteeing neighborhood involvement in the development and maintenance of the Obama Center.

The faculty call for "significant revision" to the current plan.

Finally, the letter raises concerns about the Obama Center's cost to taxpayers. None of the funds will go back to the City to improve train lines and public transportation infrastructure. Not only are public lands being given to a private entity but the public will pay to have Cornell Drive closed and Stony Island Avenue and Lake Shore Drive widened. All of this is an indication of a lack of a comprehensive plan and neighborhood input.

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