Obamas to visit Chicago to discuss planned library, museum

Renderings Offer 1st Look at Obama Presidential Center

Renderings Offer 1st Look at Obama Presidential Center

The former president made the first public appearance of his post presidential life last week at the University of Chicago.

Watch the former president's full unveiling of plans for his presidential center here.

ABC News reports the Obamas are in town specifically to discuss with officials how things are progressing on the installation that is said to cost "hundreds of millions of dollars".

"The design approach for the centre is guided by the goal of creating a true community asset that seeks to inspire and empower the public to take on the greatest challenges of our time", said NY firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, which is collaborating with local studio Interactive Design Architects on the project.

The construction of the Obama presidential library will be paid through private donations and its maintenance is funded by American taxpayers, like the nation's 13 other presidential libraries.

"The Obamas want to create a safe, warm, inviting place that brings people in, teaches them something new, and inspires them to create change in their own communities", said Obama Foundation Chair Marty Nesbitt.

Barack Obama earlier Wednesday unveiled design plans for a 200,000-square-foot campus on Chicago's South Side that will house the Obama Presidential Center.

The library and forum buildings will be used for study and foundation programming. The Centre is to be built in Chicago's Jackson Park serving both as a library as well as the headquarters of the Obama Foundation.

The former first couple say the project should represent "what it means to be a good citizen in the 21st century".

Pathways will criss-cross the campus, allowing visitors to walk from green spaces on the ground level to the green roofs of the two lower buildings.

Drawings and a miniature model of the planned center, forum and library in a Lake Michigan park are on display Wednesday in Chicago. "It incorporates the best of the outdoors and the best of the indoors", said Louise McCurry, president of the Jackson Park Advisory Council. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, there will also be a community garden and a kids' play space. As with all presidential libraries, the funds will come completely from donations.

The former president said he and his staff will work with the city of Chicago and its businesses to reach out to at-risk youth and offer jobs as a productive way to spend their summer.

"It's not just a building".

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