Study Shows Obama Presidential Center to Have ‘Adverse Effect' on Historic Area

A federal review found the project will have an “adverse effect” on Jackson Park area

Hundreds of people showed out at an open house Monday evening to learn about a study that says the proposed Obama Presidential Center will have an “adverse effect” on the historic Jackson Park area.

A recent federal review, called Section 10, found that the project will have an “adverse effect” in and adjacent to Jackson Park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The review deems adverse effects as ‘direct’ or ‘indirect,’ and can include physical destruction or damage but does not mean the project can’t move forward.

Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago, believes the presidential library should be constructed on the University of Chicago campus or a private, non-public parkland.

“This has been part of the public domain and park for 130 years, and (it’s) important to maintain that,” he said.

Representatives from the city’s Department of Planning and Development and Department of Transportation were on hand at Monday’s meeting to provide residents details about the plans.

Chanelle Bell, a resident of Hyde Park, said she’s confident in the Obama Foundation.

“They have shown no fear in having conversations,” she said. “I want that to continue.”

Bell added she wants people to see how the plans will benefit the community, and “not something that’s going to splice it.”

The review period closes on Aug. 30 and the Section 106 process is expected to conclude in late 2020. 

Project architects hope the groundbreaking for the $500 million museum and presidential library will take place in 2020.

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