On Wednesday, former president Barack Obama returned home to Chicago to reveal plans for his presidential library. I may be a biased liberal snowflake, but it all looks to be pretty spectacular.
Going beyond the traditions of past presidential libraries, the Barack Obama Presidential Center will be a multi-building campus of classrooms, labs, and outdoor spaces “that provide visitors with experiences that inspire and tools to make things happen in their own communities.” There will also be public performance spaces, a recreation center with basketball courts, a restaurant, food trucks, and even film and recording studios. Obama specifically mentioned inviting filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee and musicians like Chance the Rapper and Bruce Springsteen to the center to offer seminars in creating movies and music.
“We want this to be the world’s premiere institution for training young people and leadership to make a difference in their communities in their countries and in the world — that’s our goal,” Obama explained.
The Barack Obama Presidential Center will be constructed in Jackson Park, with the expectation of opening in 2021. The president said the center will create upwards of 1,500 jobs and bring millions of dollars in much-needed revenue to Chicago’s South Side.
Check out artist renderings of the center, along with an announcement video, below.
Ahead of today’s announcement, the Obama Foundation shared a new Spotify playlist celebrating Chicago music, curated by the likes of Chance the Rapper, Mavis Staples, Nick Offerman, and others. Needless to say, Hipster Obama lives on.