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Foundation considers closing roads in Jackson Park for Obama Library

The Obama Foundation is considering closing parts of Cornell Drive to create a pedestrian campus around the future $500 million Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, according to news reports.

The facility will be located between 60th and 63rd streets just off Stony Island. Officials are considering closing Cornell Drive between 60th and 67th streets. The roadway closing would allow visitors to stroll from the presidential center to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Wooded Island nature site and the upgraded golf course.

Officials want to create a museum campus similar to the one that includes the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium on the southern end of Grant Park.

There are also talks to close Marquette Drive between Cornell and Lake Shore Drive. The route is the southern portion of the park and bisects the Jackson Park Golf Course. Officials say the move could help them design a tournament-worthy course.

Activists have expressed concerns that closing Cornell Drive will cause more traffic on Stony Island Avenue. Many use Marquette Drive as a connecting route to Lake Shore Drive.


Obama Foundation officials on Monday, January 30 named New York-based Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates as the head landscape architects for the library. It’s the same team that designed Maggie Daley Park.

Two Chicago landscape design firms – Site Design Group and Living Habitats, will be part of the architect team.



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