It’s been a long time to get to this point, but it’s finally happening. The Barack Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, Chicago will begin preparatory work in April 2021.

Chicago’s South Side has been eagerly awaiting this amazing hub. The center is more like a campus. This includes a branch of the Chicago Public Library, a museum, a venue for events and sports activities, a forum for office space and additional outdoor areas. All of this will be contained in a stone-clad tower, 235 feet high. For more information on the proposed design, visit the Obama Foundation’s official website here.

The Obama Presidential Center was originally proposed in 2016 with its current shape and location. Jackson Park already has the Science and Industry Museum and golf course, as well as its own historical significance. As a result, the proposal has been subject to a review by the federal government since November 2017. Once the review has been completed, the preparatory work will take place in April 2021 and the actual construction should begin in autumn.

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The library is a standout feature for the South Side community. In the spirit of modern libraries, this new branch will include digital media rooms and amenities specially designed for children. It will also provide professional resources for adults and special event venues to bring the community together. The surrounding area and roof will have green spaces, including community lots for fruits and vegetables – just like the garden that former First Lady Michelle Obama planted in the White House.

This is all we already know that libraries can (and often are) be. The Obama Presidential Center appears to be a hub for the community, with services and resources made available to the people and the people.

To learn even more about the Obama Presidential Center, check out these 6 things you should know about the project.