Obama Foundation to host public meeting at McCormick Place

By TONIA HILL

Staff Writer

 

The Obama Foundation will host a public meeting next week to gather feedback on the development and construction for the future Barack Obama Presidential Center (OPC).

The meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 S. Martin Luther King Drive.

Michael Strautmanis, vice president of civic engagement at the Obama Foundation; Louise Bernard, museum director for the OPC; Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, lead architects for the OPC; and Michael Van Valkenburgh, lead landscape designer for the OPC will represent the foundation at the meeting.

“We appreciate the feedback we have already received from our neighbors on the South Side and beyond from the city’s public meetings, our smaller group meetings and surveys,” David Simas, CEO at the Obama Foundation, said in a written statement.

Since concept design plans were released in May, the Obama Foundation has participated in large-scale community meetings alongside the City of Chicago, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) in June, July, and August.

“We want the Obama Foundation to be a staple of the South Side community for years to come,” Strautmanis said in a written statement. “The best way to accomplish that is to listen to residents on how we can be good neighbors and help them reap the benefits from this exciting and historic project.”

The OPC will house a library holding the presidential archives, a museum focusing on the Obama presidency, and space for programs and initiatives that advance the foundation’s public mission.

The design concept for the OPC includes three buildings: the museum, forum, and library. The buildings will form a campus surrounding a public plaza. The OPC will also include a state-of-the-art museum, classrooms, labs, and outdoor spaces.

Though the groundbreaking is expected for late next summer, survey work has begun in the area.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and the program will be being at 5:45 p.m.

t.hill@hpherald.com