Chicago, IL –
Today, the Obama Foundation announced its proposal for a combined park and
parking facility on an underutilized section of the Midway Plaisance across
from the future site of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC). The OPC will be
located in historic Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago, a community the
Obamas call home. President and Mrs. Obama chose to bring the OPC to the South
Side, in part, to give back to the community that has given them so much. The
Center will strengthen the economic climate in the community by bringing
hundreds of thousands of visitors to the South Side every year, creating new
jobs on the South Side and revitalizing Jackson Park. The proposed park and
parking facility will support those goals by stimulating the streets around the
OPC with increased pedestrian activity.
The OPC and the
parking facility are designed to unlock the full potential of Jackson Park as a
recreational destination for the community and visitors alike. The facility
will be covered and surrounded by a new 3-4 acre park that will be open to the
public and provide views of Jackson Park and its lagoons, and numerous new
recreational opportunities, such as a picnic area, a children’s play area and
more. The existing Cheney-Goode Memorial will be retained as part of the
proposed redevelopment of this parkland. The proposal includes off-street bus
drop-off and pick-up, bicycle parking, and a close connection to Metra.
evaluates each proposal for the design of the OPC through the lens of
supporting our surrounding community. Building a parking facility on the Midway
continues the Obama Foundation’s goal of revitalizing Jackson Park and spurring
economic activity across the South Side,” explained David Simas, Chief Executive
Officer at the Obama Foundation. “With this proposal, we are increasing foot
traffic within the community, not just in Jackson Park, and creating new park
space for families to gather and play.”
facility is expected to hold 400-450 vehicles. The parking facility will be
paid for by the Obama Foundation.
Plaisance is owned by the City of Chicago. Pending input from the community and
approval by the City Council, the City would convey rights for parking to the
President and Mrs. Obama announced their initial design concept for the OPC. In
June, July and August, the Obama Foundation has participated in dozens of
one-on-one meetings, small group meetings with the community, and public
meetings with the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of
Transportation, and Alderman Leslie Hairston. The Foundation also issued an
online survey to receive feedback on its design concepts. Today’s combined park
and parking facility proposal includes input from those feedback sessions.
site plan of the combined park and parking facility can be viewed HERE.