Chicago Bids for the Obama Presidential Library in Trouble


Despite the fact that President Obama still has two years remaining in his historic presidency as the nation’s first black president, there is already a fierce bidding frenzy ongoing about which city will host the prestigious site. The president’s birth city of Honolulu has put in a bid. A university in New York City has submitted a proposal. Lastly, two universities in Chicago have likewise submitted bids. It would seem likely that the place which gave political rise to Obama would be selected to host the presidential library. However, there are problems arising with both of Chicago’s bids.

Bruce Levenson said that the most likely site to be selected is the University of Chicago which has long ties with the Obamas. That said, the location the university included in their bid for the library isn’t land they actually own. It is owned by the Chicago Park District and as such would require their approval. This may seem like a fait accomplit that the land would be granted, but a bid cannot be accepted for a site that isn’t legally owned by the university.

The other location in Chicago belongs to the University of Illinois at Chicago. They too have an issue with the bid because final approval will require the signature of the university’s president, board chairman, and chancellor. The trouble is that all three of those positions will be filled by new people next year. Again, a site can hardly be picked if the people who need to approve it have not taken office yet.

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