This morning, the Obama Foundation announced that the president’s library will be built on the South Side of Chicago in collaboration with the University of Chicago. No word yet on what the design will look like, or who will design it, though speculation has focused on David Adjaye, the London-based architect of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C., though a spokesperson for Adjaye told us his firm has not been approached.*
Why Chicago? “All the strands of my life came together, and I really became a man, when I moved to Chicago,” Obama says in a taped video. “That’s where I was able to apply that early idealism to try to work in communities in public service.”
Four locations made bids for the presidential library, including Columbia University, where Obama received his undergraduate degree; the University of Illinois at Chicago, which is on the city’s West Side; and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, where Obama grew up. The latter submitted design plans by some of the most prominent architecture firms in the U.S., including Snøhetta and Allied Works Architecture. Alas, they weren’t enough to win the bid.
The Obama Foundation announced that the library will be built in a public park and plans to select the exact location in coming months.
*We updated this post on May 13th to to reflect comments from David Adjaye’s office.
[via the New York Times]