Obama presidential library will be built in Chicago

Reuters News
Posted: May 12, 2015 10:22 AM

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Barack Obama's presidential library will be built in his hometown of Chicago, the Obama Foundation announced on Tuesday.

Chicago beat out proposals by New York City and Hawaii to host the facility.

The foundation, a nonprofit organization that conducted the site-selection process and will oversee the development and building of the library, has not decided on its exact location, but it is expected to be in one of two parks near the University of Chicago's main campus.

Obama grew up in Hawaii and went to college in New York, but owns a home and spent most of his pre-White House political career in Chicago, starting as a community activist before becoming a state senator and U.S. senator.

"All of the strands of my life came together and I really became a man when I moved to Chicago," Obama said in the foundation's video announcement of the decision.

Obama met his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, in Chicago, and his two daughters were born there.

"What we can also do is to attract the world to Chicago," the president said.

"I'm thrilled to be able to put this resource in the heart of the neighborhood that means the world to me," Michelle Obama said in the video. "I consider myself a South Sider."

People in Chicago's South Side, which includes many poor and crime-ridden neighborhoods, hope jobs and investment come with the library. Some small businesses are concerned they may be forced out of the area if rental prices go up.

(Additional reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Will Dunham)