Why The Obama Presidential Library Should Be In Jackson Park

From all accounts, the President and Mrs. Obama have a challenging decision to make regarding his presidential library.

What city will land the coveted prize?  If Chicago is chosen, which of the three sites will get the nod?  Will Friends of the Park file a lawsuit regarding the proposed site?

More importantly, will the upcoming runoff election play a possible part in the decision?

Questions, drama & controversy are afoot.  It's Chicago.  It literally couldn't be any other way.

Both the President and First Lady have tremendous history in this city.  It's where the First Lady was born and raised.  It's where they both met and fell and love.  It's where they had a family.  It's where both of their professional careers took off (to say the least).  And let's not forget the house.

To help the President and First Lady in this monumental task, I've written up a few points to aid them with this important decision.

Long story short:  Choose the Jackson Park site.

Why?  What puts Jackson Park above the others?  Well now that you asked, let me break it down for you.

  1. The Obama Presidential Library at the Jackson Park site would be a natural complement to the Museum of Science and Industry that would be literally sitting right across Cornell Drive.  That's right, two major institutions right across the street from one another.
  2. Speaking of right across the street, the Osaka Gardens would be within walking distance from both of them.
  3. While all of the sites are accessible via public transportation, nothing beats a ride south on Lake Shore Drive on a stunning summer day.  Scratch that---a ride down Lake Shore Drive pretty much anytime the weather is nice is a pleasure.  The Jackson Park site has the luxury of affording the library's visitors that ride via the 6 Jackson Park bus, private car or taxi.
  4. The Jackson Park site is in very close proximity to the 57the and 63rd Street beaches. Can you imagine the views of Lake Michigan from the upper floors of the library?
  5. Hyde Park is brimming with a variety of dining options and is quick five minute drive or 15 minute walk up Stony Island to Lake Park.  Plus that brand new Whole Foods that's being built will be open by then.

I'm pretty sure I don't have bring up the beautiful campus of the University of Chicago.

Of course the ensuing bump to the East Woodlawn community would be immeasurable.

Who's to say if investment and economic development will reach further south along Stony Island to benefit Woodlawn residents?  No one can predict the future.  It would be nice, but there are no guarantees.

Yet I know as a neighborhood, our future would look a whole lot brighter with the addition of that library.

I'll even throw in a sweet potato pie for the President & First Lady as a way of saying "thank you" for choosing Jackson Park.  If the secret service detail expects a few slices, ya'll are gonna have to give me a heads up.

I'm sure they can pack away the pie.  I'll have to pick up some more butter.


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