Barack Obama’s Presidential Library and Museum will be located in none other than his adopted home: Chicago.
Several news reports, including the New York Times and Associated Press, cited two unnamed sources familiar with the choice, who weren’t authorized to discuss the apparent selection before it became official. An announcement will come down from the president’s foundation within the next few weeks, they said, and the library will be built on the city’s South Side, likely near the University of Chicago campus. Though raised in Hawaii, Chicago became home to the nation’s first black President in his adult life.
The selection of Chicago as the location wasn’t a given, though. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as Obama’s chief of staff during the first term, played hard to win the bid. According to NBC Chicago, the mayor pushed a plan to transition 20 acres of park land to city control so that the library could be built there. The campaign to host the library was also a talking point during Emanuel’s reelection campaign—though according to NBC News, Obama held up the decision during the election in an effort to not “politicize” his selection.
Both Columbia University and the University of Hawaii at Honolulu also placed bids to host the library. CBS Chicago reports the library and museum will cost an estimated $500 million, provide 1,900 jobs and bring $220 million to the local economy.
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