Obama Library Coming to Chicago: The Right Choice

Obama Library Coming to Chicago:  The Right Choice
President Barack Obama Photo: Chicago Tribune, Jason Reed (2012)

Word leaked out yesterday that President Barack Obama is choosing the University of Chicago as the site for his Presidential Library and Museum.

Even though his choice of the Chicago location is being widely reported by the media, officially, it’s still wait and see until the president comes to Chicago in mid-May to make the announcement (or not).

Both the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) were bidding for the library on sites proposed for the city's South and West Sides.  The University of Chicago offered two possible locations, either in Jackson Park or Washington Park, while UIC presented a plan for the North Lawndale neighborhood.

This has been a huge week for Chicago.  Chicago has taken three bites out of the Big Apple.  First with the NFL Draft coming to Chicago for the first time in 51 years--having been in New York for all those previous years. Second by turning the culinary world upside down by bringing the James Beard Awards to Chicago after a 24-year stint in the Big Apple.

AND now with the pending news, that Obama has snubbed the New York and Hawaii proposals for his Presidential Library in favor of Chicago. It seems Chicago is finally getting their piece of the apple.

Even though, rumors persist that the Obama family will be moving to the east coast (most likely NY)…they have done the right thing by selecting Chicago for the library and museum.

Here’s why:

"One could say, Obama became Obama in Chicago, especially on the South Side of the city. This is where he worked, married, began his family, his career, and his community outreach. This is where he rose in the ranks from community organizer, to state senator to president.

The Washington Park and Woodlawn community is not only where the Obama's had a residence for 30 years, it is where their colleagues, extended family and many friends live.

To put the Obama Library anywhere but Chicago would be sacrilege.  It would be like taking the Truman library out of Missouri; the Bush libraries out of Texas; the Kennedy library out of Boston; the Carter library out of Georgia or the Reagan library out of California. It just doesn't sound right.

Not to mention, what a boost it would be for a long neglected area of Chicago that could bask in the exciting new cultural, educational and economic resources that are sure to follow along with the pride and inspiration from what he's accomplished." (taken from a piece we published in February 2015 on Show Me Chicago.)

So it's beginning to look like Chicago may get the tree while New York is left with the sauce (apple).

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