Obamas to visit Chicago to discuss planned library, museum

President Barack Obama gives Michelle Obama a kiss as they wait for President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania at the White House before the inauguration

President Barack Obama gives Michelle Obama a kiss as they wait for President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania at the White House before the inauguration

Chicago Mayor (and former Obama Chief of Staff) Rahm Emanuel seems to be in full support of the project and the positive impact it will have on the community. He and former First Lady Michele Obama are donating $2-million to summer job programs, for example.

The public is getting a first look at plans for the Obama Presidential Center at an event on Chicago's South Side where the former president is expected to speak.

Obama did not mention his successor, instead focusing on details about the center, including potential exhibits and traffic patterns.

It was Obama's second public appearance since he left office, providing another glimpse of post-presidential life. He led a discussion with young leaders at the University of Chicago last week, and she spoke at the American Institute of Architects Conference in Miami.

Included in the plans for Obama's presidential center are a tower-like museum, walkways lined with trees, a public plaza, and classrooms.

According to ABC News, though the library isn't scheduled to be completed for four years, President Obama was clear that the foundation's programming will start this year.

"Right now, what many of you saw as you came in, you saw the models, you saw the pictures - that's our basic conception", Obama said. "What we wanted was something that was alive, and that was a hub for the community and for the city and for the country", he said, as quoted by The New York Times. The center will create an estimated 200 to 300 permanent jobs, HuffPost reported.

"We want this to be a living center which the community itself feels on an ongoing basis-they can bring their children, participate in activities, see a concert, learn how to make a movie, record music.learn how to organize", Obama said.

"Let's face it, we want to see Michelle's dresses", he joked.

She returned to the South Shore Cultural Center where the Obamas were married 25 years ago.

The center will also serve as the headquarters for the Obama Foundation.

He also squashed any notion that the library was ever going to be elsewhere.

Landscaping, designed by a team led by NY firm Michael Van Valkenburgh, would wraps around the buildings and continue over the roofs of the forum and library.

"It transformed downtown Chicago and the same thing can happen here but we have to be bold in how we visualize the project", he said.

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