Obama’s Presidential Library Is Change Chicagoans Can’t Believe In


If Trump does this, he’ll receive praise from the right for not taking tax payer money. :roll_eyes:

From Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library to Southern California’s tribute to Ronald Reagan, America’s 13 major presidential libraries get about $65 million a year from the federal government. That opens the facilities, which typically gloss over their namesakes’ faults, to criticism that they are taxpayer-funded “centers for presidential spin.”

The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago’s Jackson Park will take a different route, opting out of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration —and the millions of dollars in federal support that go along with membership.


But he did have some great lines.
Hope and change.
A little bit more.
Fare share.

All nebulous words that are not quantifiable.


Most propaganda sounds great if you ask me.


Faculty at the University of Chicago have joined a growing chorus of Chicagoans voicing alarm and anger over the planned Obama Presidential Center, set to be built in a sprawling historic park in the south side of the city.

Residents and environmentalists alike have signaled frustration and opposition to the plans to build the large, five-building mecca in the heart of the beloved, 140-year-old park flanking Lake Michigan — and many faculty at the private university located blocks away from the site agree.

A public letter published in mid-January signed by nearly 200 professors argued that the Obama Presidential Center plans disrespect and monopolize precious parkland, will be a boondoggle for taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, will cause nightmarish traffic jams, and will hurt the environment, among other concerns.

“We are concerned that these are not the best ways to use public funds to invest in the future of Chicago,” the letter states. “… We are concerned that rather than becoming a bold vision for urban living in the future it will soon become an object-lesson in the mistakes of the past. We urge the Obama Foundation to explore alternative sites on the South Side that could be developed with more economic benefits, better public transportation, and less cost to taxpayers.”

Soon after the professors’ letter went public, developers announced they would construct the parking facility underground to address some complaints. Some scholars remain skeptical more will be done to ease concerns.

“They promise enormous community benefits, but refuse to put their promises in writing. Their plans require major modifications to the entire structure of commuter traffic, so-called ‘improvements’ to the road system that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars for a transportation system that will be no better, and probably worse,” English Professor Tom Mitchell told The College Fix.

“I’m not overly hopeful that the Foundation will make further concessions. … But I do think that neighborhood protests have been heard by the Foundation on two issues: the garage, which they’ve now agreed to move off the Midway and to put underground within the footprint of the Center itself, and a guarantee of minority hiring,” Elizabeth Helsinger, an English professor, told The College Fix.

Distinguished service professor Jonathan Lear told the Chicago Maroon campus newspaper he too was pleased by some planned changes, but work still needs to be done.

“The underground parking garage does address one of our concerns about the misuse of a historic public park,” Lear said, “but the other serious issues raised in the letter—the relative lack of opportunities for economic development, the huge burden to taxpayers, and the unprecedented size of historic public parkland to be given to a private entity—remain to be addressed.”

The open letter argues that the Obama Presidential Center will likely not give the outside community any economic benefits, rather than jobs at the center itself.

“There is no available adjacent land in which to start a new business, set up a new café or restaurant, bring another cultural center to the neighborhood,” the letter states.

Another point is that Jackson Park, where the center is to be built, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and by building a center that takes up 21 acres of historic land, it is contrary to preserving public parks.

Professors are not alone in their concerns. Community activists have said they are upset that the plans morphed from a public presidential library run by the National Archives and Records Administration to some sort of private presidential center.

The Obama center says the majority of the facility will be free and open to the public. It is expected to include a forum, museum, library, plaza and athletic center.

Recent letters to the editor in the Chicago Tribune seem to fall in line with majority sentiments, with headlines such as: “The Obama center sets a dangerous precedent”; “Who will benefit from the Obama center?”; “The Obama Center is sure to disappoint”; “Obama center plans suffer from a lack of transparency”; and The Obama center is an ugly waste of taxpayer resources.”

“Does anyone else think the artist’s rendering of the proposed Obama Presidential Center campus is ugly? A 225-foot tower and associated buildings are garish monstrosities that ruin the aesthetics of the surrounding parkland stolen from the taxpaying public,” one letter stated.

“I am appalled that the Obama Presidential Center is taking valuable and irreplaceable park land that belongs to all the people of Chicago for an empty monumental edifice,” chimed in another.


It would serve him right if he was booed off the stage over this pompous act. First it isn’t a presidential library governed by all of the rules and formalities for operation and preservation… mainly because he doesn’t want anyone to know who he really is and more importantly what he has done during his time in the White House. By locating his ‘center’ firstly on a historic piece of land in a more affluent part of Chicago seems to demean the very people who put him in office… Kind of an ‘Uppity’ statement if you ask me…


Can you believe the liberal city of Chicago could actually reject Obama’s gift to them?

What’s funny is that Obama will never return to Chicago and his legacy building should really be located in Washington. Maybe next to the Lincoln memorial. Maybe drain the reflecting pool and use the property as our monument to Obama.


Land should.be cheap in Kenya. Since his father Is Kenyan,it would be an ideal.place for his"Presidential Center".It could include a Rev
Jeremiah Wright Chapel and a Jay-Z recording center.What a boom for the local economy.
It would take him closer to his half African(Negro) heritage.He is half white and half black, however we don’t know which part is which in his body. Only Michele knows for sure.
Why do we need taxpayer money to build these libraries??? I’m sure the wealt0 donor’s could scrape the money together, sell cookies, cakes or lemonade.
No matter which President it is,it’s a waste of tax dollars.


But Freedom, were you asking that when we were wasting tax payer money building Reagan’s, Bush’s and Bush’s. I don’t think tax payer money should be used on any, but the partisan right is being the typical partisan right.


The issue is the way he has decided to make this HIS ‘Presidential Center’ and waving the restrictions and archiving responsibilities of it being called a ‘Presidential Library’… While you may have a legitimate point that ALL presidential libraries are a waste of tax payer money, he has deliberately choosen not to create a presidential library following NARA guidelines…and in my humble opinion it is so he has absolute control over the narrative… Not only does he award himself medals, he can’t even stand for the body of evedence to judge his presidency… pathetic…


I’ve never been to a presidential library nor will I ever. Another resented use of my tax dollars. Obama is no longer in office and I couldn’t care less what he does.


Ah… I get it… history just clouds the vision of a progressive…


Monte,as I said in my post, I believe that the Presidential Libraries should be built with Private money,not taxpayers.If Joe Lunch Pail wants to donate for the building of a Presidential Library,I don’t care!!!
The ex Presidents make enough from “Speaking Fees” to help build the libraries.There are enough wealthy donor’s to contribute money. They could have their name.on the bldg.The Clinton Mafia Family Foundation Obama Presidential Center.
With Mad Maxine, Crazy Chuck,Nincompoop Nancy and as I said before ,the Jay-Z Recording Center.and the Jeremiah Wright Chapel.


And we agree again though I wouldn’t just stop with the Democratic Party criminals during the Obama administration, I’d lump in the republicans too.


The libraries’ construction is privately funded, they’re managed by the National Archives and Records Administration, using federal tax dollars.

Barack Obama intends to raise $1 billion to build his library and fund the associated endowment. Let me say this again: The president intends to raise one billion dollars for his library.



Indeed, and if Obama can raise half a billion or a trillion to build his own center, more power to him I suppose, I’ll not be donating a cent. And I can only be happier yet if he really doesn’t let NARA run the thing at my expense. The whole idea, back to Hoover’s time is an unnecessary waste of money, IMO.


I can agree with that but We The People need access, in a time appropriate fashion, to ALL public records of the president. As it is, he appears to be carting off information about his dealings with the secretary of state relative to the Clinton server… we should, as the body public, have access to this information and apparently, you can’t even use a FOIA request to get it.


It’s more a gym then library and taking up Chicago park district property is uncalled for .
There is plenty of property available around the city to build the gym / library .


Do you REALLY give a damn. Shit people, we’ve got a near constitutional crisis on our hands regardless of which party you choose to blame it on and a Pentagon that’s threatening a collapse of the American empire if we don’t give them more money, and you want to bitch about an ex presidents gym in a city you probably don’t care about that’s not going to cost you anything.


What constitutional crisis???

You mean the reality that we don’t have enough pilots, we downsized the Army to pre WW2 levels because we downsized the military in the last 8 years?

Didn’t know you were so concerned about the military.


Hopefully you’ve stabilized by now.