The Barack Obama Foundation says seven architectural firms are finalists to design the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago's South Side.
The list released Monday includes four firms from New York, two in Europe and one in Chicago. The foundation said in September that 140 architectural firms from 25 countries and 60 cities applied to design the presidential center.
The center will be located in one of two parks on Chicago's South Side and will be home to Obama's archives and a museum about his presidency. It is expected to be completed in 2020 or 2021.
The finalists include Diller Scofidio and Renfro, SHoP Architects, Snohetta and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects of New York; John Ronan Architects of Chicago; Renzo Piano Building Workshop of Italy and Adjaye Associates of London.
The Barack Obama Foundation announced the location of the future Barack Obama Presidential Center in May, capping an intense campaign for the library.
“The city of Chicago was instrumental in demonstrating to the President and First Lady the advantages of locating the future Obama Presidential Center in the city, and the University of Chicago brought to life the broad potential and vital energy of the South Side,” foundation chairman Martin Nesbitt said in a statement.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the project a "unique opportunity" for Chicago and advocated aggressively for the selection.
"It can be on the South Side. It can be on the West Side, but it cannot be on the Upper West Side of Manhattan," Emanuel, Obama's former White House Chief of Staff, said while campaigning for a second term at City Hall.