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Plaintiffs appear before U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 to discuss a suit aiming to halt construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. (Courtroom sketch by Tom Gianni)

Plans to build Barack Obama’s $500 million presidential center on Chicago’s lakefront can move forward, a federal judge said Tuesday in dismissing an advocacy group’s lawsuit objecting to the use of historic public parkland.

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Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday thanked Chicago aldermen for their approval of a 99-year land agreement to allow his presidential center to make its home in Jackson Park. But other hurdles remain.

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Some community groups are speaking out after construction equipment was seen removing trees and digging up the field on the southern end of Jackson Park. 

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Opponents and allies alike came together for a big vote Thursday on the future of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

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Obama Presidential Center rendering (Image by DBOX)

A group called Protect Our Parks says developers of the Obama Presidential Center have pulled a “bait and switch.” Could they slow the project down?

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The Obama Foundation has given in to criticism, making a change to its plans. The decision comes as the Obama Presidential Center gained new critics: more than 100 University of Chicago faculty members.

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Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are back home in Chicago to launch the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit. 

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The Barack Obama Foundation last week announced the seven finalists chosen to submit designs for the Obama Presidential Center. One of the architects, David Adjaye, is the subject of a solo exhibition at the Art Institute’s modern wing that runs through Jan. 3.

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