Obama Foundation submits presidential center plans amid opposition

Former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle

Former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle

Obama noted that, when he was younger, he went through a phase when he wanted to be an architect.

The Obama Presidential Center, near Lake Michigan on the south side of Chicago, will get a taller, slimmer and more transparent museum tower than the previous version revealed a year ago. None of the funds will go back to the City to improve train lines and public transportation infrastructure.

The letter hammered the Obama Foundation's plans to build a 450-space parking lot, saying that it is "socially regressive" because it privileges people who can afford to have a vehicle.

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"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", the professors wrote.

In a newly released video, former President Barack Obama says that he has been actively involved in the planning process to build the center, which aims to open by 2021.

The Obama Foundation submitted its planned development and lakefront protection ordinance applications for the Obama Presidential Center on Wednesday, but the plan still faces some opposition.

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However, the Obama Foundation announced that the proposed site on designated historic parkland would not be administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and would not function as a presidential library housing records, manuscripts, and papers from the Obama White House. A forum building for community events and programming, an athletic center for the community, outdoor plaza and library building will also be built in honor of Obama's legacy.

This is not to say that the economic needs of the neighborhoods around Jackson Park should be ignored.

In a letter signed by scores of faculty members, the professors argue that while they broadly "support the idea of establishing the Obama Center in our neighborhood", they also share many concerns expressed by local community groups about the existing proposal.

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