Obama library belongs in Chicago, colleges agree

Leah Hope Image
Monday, March 16, 2015
Obama library belongs in Chicago, colleges agree
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U of C and UIC agree on one thing when it comes to the Obama Presidential Library: it belongs in Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The University of Chicago and University of Illinois- Chicago are both bidding on the Obama Presidential Library. Despite the fierce competition over the library, the two held a unity breakfast on Monday.

"We both have a mutual interest in making certain that the library is secured in the city of Chicago," UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said.

Speakers shared some memorable lines they hope will be heard in the White House.

"In Chicago, we eat big apples," Marcus Betts, North Lawndale Presidential Library committee, said.

"It can be on the South Side. It can be on the West Side but it cannot be on the Upper West Side of Manhattan," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

The University of Chicago proposes two possible South Side locations - Jackson Park or Washington Park. Both sites required Chicago Park District approval.

UIC proposes a West Side site in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

The proposals rest on an historic West Side/ South Side rivalry in Chicago that may be set aside for the president and first lady.

"People get so invested in what side of town. Who gets the library within the city. Shat is most paramount is that the library come to Chicago," Dr. Carol Adams, U of C Community Advisory Board, said.

"We need this to clear the air. Let everybody know that we are one in the city of the Chicago," Mickey Johnson, former Chicago Bull, said.

"As an educational tool there is really, in my opinion no competition that matches Chicago because than any other city because so many firsts," Timuel Black, historian, said.

Chicago's out-of-town rival for the presidential library is New York City.

A decision is expected after Chicago's runoff mayoral election in April.