Obama Presidential Center coming to Jackson Park, government reviews

YouTube/The Obama White House

According to officials at a Friday morning meeting, the government will be reviewing Jackson Park before building the Obama Presidential Center as well as evaluating the project’s environmental effects, according to The Chicago Tribune.

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A deputy commissioner with the city’s Department of Planning and Development who hosted the presentation, Elanor Gorski, said any damages that the review highlights, would have to be resolved before the construction could go forward.

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The federal review is taking place due to Jackson Park’s status on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the plan to both close and expand major streets. Both the National Environmental Policy Act as well as the National Historic Preservation Act have separate processes, but are each conducted by city officials along with federal agencies, the newspaper reported.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Park District, along with various other public agencies are required to evaluate the Obama center plan. They will then decide how it will impact residents, then tackling ways to build the center without causing any disturbances in the community.

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The Chicago Park District announced in a meeting this past Friday that they will have a separate series of public meetings to invite feedback on proposed changes to both the Jackson as well as South Shore parks. The open-style meetings will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11 at the South Shore Cultural Center.

The Obama Foundation has yet to submit its proposal to the city’s Planning Department but officials who are with the foundation say they still plan to break ground in late 2018. The foundation has also not yet set a detailed timeline outlining its plans but has also said the center should be completed in 2021 according to the Tribune.

To see where the center will go as well as what it will look like, click here.

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