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Renderings unveil Obama Presidential Center

obama presidential center

The Obama Foundation has released new renderings of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Chicago. The images were unveiled as part of the 2019 Obama Foundation Summit.

The Obama Presidential Center will occupy 19.3 acres within the 550-acre Jackson Park. The OPC’s architectural footprint occupies just over two acres.

The OPC will include a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates the first African American President and First Lady.

At the heart of the Obama Presidential Center is a public plaza, welcoming visitors to the campus and Jackson Park. It will serve as a place for live performances and community festivals.

Public plaza at the heart of Obama Presidential Center

obama presidential center

The OPC will also feature a landscaped courtyard, bringing natural light and greenery to its public spaces. The garden level of the museum building features interactive programmes, a retail shop and café

The Chicago Public Library is also getting a new branch, with an interactive digital media space and a garden on its roof – complete with growing fruit and vegetables, and beehives.

The museum building’s design embodies the idea of ascension – the action of rising to an important position from the grassroots.

Within the museum, exhibits will explore US history and tell the story of the volunteers who powered the campaign. It will also examine the eight years of progress, setback and hope.

OPC museum building will have landscaped courtyard

obama presidential center

As for the park, there will be play areas and walking paths, connected by a long pedestrian promenade. The path connects the OPC to the Museum of Science Industry.

The landscape of Jackson Park’s historic Women’s Garden will also be restored with plantings, pathways, and seating.

And, a one-acre wetland area will feature a Wetland Walk with seating, a tree canopy, and a place for children to play.

The two-acre children’s play area will have a giant playground with innovative recreation equipment, including a lagoon and woodland-themed features.

Two-acre children’s play area to include giant playground

obama presidential center

“We’ve spent the past few years talking with the community and meeting with neighbours and stakeholders to incorporate their input on how the residents of the South Side and the city of Chicago want to experience the OPC in Jackson Park,” said David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation.

“In response to the feedback we received, we’re presenting updates that create even more ways for the community to enjoy what will become an important and memorable gathering place.”

Images: The Obama Foundation

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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