University of Chicago rumored to be winner of Obama library

Foundation may end up in West Harlem

President Obama chose the University of Chicago (UChicago) as the host of his museum and library, according to sources who spoke to the Chicago Tribune.

Officials from the White House, Chicago City Hall, or the Obama Foundation have yet to confirm the selection, but a source tells the paper the official announcement may happen in the next few weeks.

"I had people tell me that I'll be happy with the decision" regarding the library, says Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois), who met with Obama about an unrelated matter last week. "I'm going to be cautiously optimistic."

Obama recently thanked Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office for fast-tracking legislation authorizing park land for a presidential library, but did not explicitly indicate the library would be located in the city, a source told the Chicago Tribune.

It also remains unclear which of two proposed South Side locations would be home to the library—21 acres in Washington Park and 20 acres in Jackson Park have both been discussed.

Another option Obama has considered is headquartering his foundation on land from Columbia University in New York while keeping the library in Chicago, according to sources.

Hawaiian officials have already been alerted their state will not be awarded the library, but have proposed education and research facilities as well as a visitors center to represent ties to the president. Details of the foundation-sanctioned plan are still being finalized.

The decision to award the library to UChicago was made in March, but the announcement was held off until Emanuel won his mayoral re-election runoff, according to sources, because Obama wanted to know who would be in office at the kickoff of the library project—which is estimated to cost $500 million (Glanton/Pearson, Chicago Tribune, 4/30).

The takeaway: Sources tell the Chicago Tribune that Obama has selected the University of Chicago as the winner of his presidential library.


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