Former US President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama held the groundbreaking ceremony in the southern suburbs of Chicago for the Obama Presidential Center.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Obama in Tuesday’s event after years of legal disputes, fears of gentrification and federal review.
“We envision this as a place where residents and visitors from all over the world come together and bring back the purpose of a people’s park. So that will be the core mission of our center and foundation program,” Obama said.
Obama said he hoped the center would bring economic improvement to the area and inspire young leaders from all walks of life.
The approximately $830 million center will feature a museum, public library and children’s play area. Construction officially began last month at Jackson Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The central location is near the Obama family’s residence and near where the former president began his political career. [lt/uh]