Obama Presidential Center Sails Through City Council


The project that will transform 19.3 acres of Jackson Park into the Obama Presidential Center aced its final in a series of city votes Wednesday.

The full City Council approved the project by a vote of 47-1, with the lone no vote coming from 17th Ward Ald. David Moore, who says his opposition is based on the $175 million in public money pledged toward infrastructure improvements around the project.

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“I can’t get any money to get curbs fixed in my ward, and we have $100 million for this? I can’t support that,” Moore said after the vote.

  • Obama Presidential Center rendering (Image by DBOX)

    Obama Presidential Center rendering (Image by DBOX)

  • (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

    (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

  • (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

    (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

  • (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

    (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

  • (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

    (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

  • (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

    (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

  • (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

    (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

But his colleagues did not share his concern, and were hopeful that Moore would switch his vote before the end of the day. 

“I feel sorry for him,” said Ald. Danny Solis, 25th Ward. “I hope he does reconsider because it’s good to have a unanimous vote.”

The 47 aldermen in support were more than enthusiastic about the project. “This is no-brainer,” said Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th Ward. “This is a gift for Chicago.”

The project also was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission, but must complete a federal process of approval because the Olmstead-designed Jackson Park is designated on the National Register of Historic Places. Obama Center officials have said they hope to break ground by the end of the year.

Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz


Related stories:

Obama Presidential Center Passes Plan Commission Despite Lack of Details

Plan Commission Greenlights Obama Presidential Center

As Obama Presidential Center Edges Closer to Final Design, New Lawsuit Filed


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