‘I Just Want Everybody to Know That I See You’: Barack Obama Visits Presidential Center Construction Site in Chicago as Structure Reaches Full Height

Former President Barack Obama posed for a photo with construction workers at the Obama Presidential Center construction site in Chicago on June 20, 2024. (WTTW News)Former President Barack Obama posed for a photo with construction workers at the Obama Presidential Center construction site in Chicago on June 20, 2024. (WTTW News)

Former President Barack Obama made a trip to Chicago to attend a ceremony at the construction site of the Obama Presidential Center, which topped out at its full height Monday.

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The former president shook hands with construction workers and signed a beam that will be used in the ongoing construction of the center, located in Jackson Park.

Monday’s ceremony was scheduled as the center’s Museum Building, which will be the tallest structure on the 19-acre campus, officially reached its full height of 225 feet.

“The dedication all of you have shown, the professionalism, the hard work … the sacrifice, all of you make just to make this happen is something I could not be more grateful or appreciative of,” Obama told workers gathered at the site Monday afternoon.

“I just want everybody to know that I see you,” Obama added.

Former President Barack Obama signs a beam that will be used in the ongoing construction of the Obama Presidential Center on June 10, 2024. (WTTW News)Former President Barack Obama signs a beam that will be used in the ongoing construction of the Obama Presidential Center on June 10, 2024. (WTTW News)

The beam Obama and several workers signed will be part of the ceiling in the Sky Room, which will be located on the top floor of the Museum Building. 

Construction on the center broke ground in September 2021 following a legal battle over its chosen site. It had been expected to open in October 2025, but that date has since been pushed back to the spring of 2026.


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