President Barack Obama’s presidential library will be built in his adopted home of Chicago, according to various news reports.
The University of Chicago, where Obama taught law, will construct the library along with his foundation, which is run by longtime friends and supporters.
Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama’s chief of staff, are expected to make the announcement in the next few weeks.
Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama considered three states: Hawaii, Obama’s birth state, Chicago, where he launched his political career or New York, where he graduated from college.
Chicago officials had argued that the library should be in their city, where Obama served as a community organizer and state senator. He taught at the University of Chicago while Michelle Obama worked at its hospital. Their daughters, Malia and Sasha, attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.
Thirteen organizations submitted proposals to build the multimillion-dollar presidential library that will be much more than a library - part museum, part education center and part archive. It will house enough unclassified documents to fill four 18-wheelers and enough artifacts to fill a swimming pool.
Obama has indicated he wants his library to become an anchor for economic development while reflecting the values and priorities of his public service career: expanding economic opportunity and promoting peace, justice and dignity throughout the world.
Thirteen presidential libraries are scattered across the nation, from Boston (John F. Kennedy) to Yorba Linda, Calif. (Richard Nixon). The most recent, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which opened on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Ronald Reagan’s library in Simi Valley, Calif., is the most popular, with about 400,000 visitors annually. But Obama’s could very well surpass those numbers because of his historic tenure as the first African-American president in the United States.