Obama Foundation cuts plan for parking garage on the Midway

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

The Obama Foundation on Monday, Jan. 8, announced that it is cutting its original proposal for an above ground-parking garage on the Midway. Instead, the parking garage will be located underground in Jackson Park.

Residents and park preservationists have been vocal about their opposition to having the garage on the Midway, land that is historic and publicly owned since the proposal was announced in mid-August.

The foundation in a written statement said the change came in response to conversations with residents and park advocates over the past few months.

An Obama Foundation spokesperson in a written statement said: “From the beginning of the planning process, President Obama and the Foundation have consistently made clear that the community is our partner in the development, design, and construction of the Obama Presidential Center. After numerous meetings with the community and other valued stakeholders over the past months, the Foundation understands that many of those voices feel strongly that the parking for the OPC should be located within the OPC campus in Jackson Park. The Foundation has heard those voices, and has decided to locate the OPC’s parking underground in Jackson Park.”

The garage will hold 400-450 cars for Obama Center visitors and staff.

The parking facility will be located under the southern portion of the campus between the Library Building and proposed Athletic Center. The entrance and exit from the garage will be on the east side of Stony Island Avenue aligned with 61st Street.

“This parking facility has the advantage of allowing the OPC to stay within the boundaries of Jackson Park, and providing accessible, on-site access to families, and other visitors,” said the Obama Foundation in a written statement.

t.hill@hpherald.com