Obama Foundation files plans for Obama Presidential Center

New details of the Obama Presidential Center have been revealed, including the $350 million price tag, as the Obama Foundation formally files plans for the 22-acre facility with the city of Chicago.

The design has undergone marked changes since it was originally unveiled in May last year following opposition from community groups. Martin Nesbitt, Chair of the Obama Foundation board, said that the changes are the result of “thousands of conversations” with local residents and activists.

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.

There will also be a two-story forum building with meeting spaces, an auditorium and a public restaurant. Another two-story building will house a library and both buildings will be covered with accessible parkland on the rooftops. A partially submerged two-story athletic building will also have a green roof.

The previously planned parking facility will now be located underground between the library and athletic building, a change made following complaints about its previous above-ground location.

A woodland trail for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as an outdoor plaza for public gatherings and child play areas complete the complex.

Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, with Interactive Design Architects as their partner, the Center is expected to open in 2021 with construction commencing later this year, pending city approval.