Obama library site added to list of endangered historical places

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Jackson Park, the future site of the Obama presidential library, is on the list of endangered historical sites in Chicago.


CHICAGO - A preservation group has listed Jackson Park, the future site of the Obama Presidential Library, as one of its seven most endangered structures.

Jackson Park was designed by the same famous landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calver Vaux, who designed New York City's Central Park. The 500-acre Southside park was also home to the 1893 World's Fair and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But there are big changes coming to this land and that is a concern to the non-profit group Preservation Chicago.

"Jackson Park, South Shore Park, the Midway, and Washington Parks are amazing legacies and are known throughout the world. We shouldn't be treating this like it is a play lot," said Preservation Chicago Executive Director Ward Miller, Executive director of Preservation Chicago.

With the park becoming the home to the Obama Presidential Library, a proposed Tiger Woods-designed PGA golf course and the Yoko Ono Sky Landing sculpture unveiled a few months ago, Preservation Chicago has placed Jackson Park on its seventh most endangered sites in Chicago.

"We, as an organization, don't feel the select few at the top, our elected officials, should be making all these decisions out right when they affect these great Chicago and world treasures in Chicago," said Miller.

Preservation Chicago Executive Director Ward Miller says his organization isn't necessarily against these additions to Jackson Park, but, he is calling for more public discussion, debate and input.

"We haven't heard a lot about the Obama Presidential Library, other than it will be at a certain site and that it will be nine acres. What are we doing about parking, what are we doing about refuse? Does all of that back into this amazing park," said Miller.

The Chicago Park District did not respond to ABC7's requests for an interview.

The Golf Alliance, which is working on the proposed Tiger Woods golf course, disputed Preservation Chicago's claim that there has been no public input. The group said there has been plenty of community engagement with neighborhood groups and the alderman.
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