Obama library as drone aviary? Chicago Prize winners speculate on president’s legacy

A hypothetical concept for the Barack Obama Presidential Library, straddling the Chicago River. The proposal was among the winners of the 2014 Chicago Prize. (Zhu Wenyi, Fu Junsheng, and Liang Yiang)

A hypothetical concept for the Barack Obama Presidential Library, straddling the Chicago River. The proposal was among the winners of the 2014 Chicago Prize. (Zhu Wenyi, Fu Junsheng, and Liang Yiang)

The Chicago Architectural Club announced the winners of its 2014 Chicago Prize Tuesday, awarding five honors to speculative proposals for Barack Obama’s Presidential Library. Peace signs, notions of community ownership, and even drones enlivened the conceptual debate swirling around a closely watched project already wrought with its own political complications.

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University of Chicago releases details on Obama Library proposal

A rendering of South Stony Island Avenue, part of the University of Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

A rendering of South Stony Island Avenue, part of the University of Chicago’s proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

While speculation around the Barack Obama Presidential Library continues to swirl, plans for one of the project’s four potential sites just became a bit clearer. The University of Chicago, where the President taught law, made public this week new renderings and details of their bid for the nation’s 14th such library, trotting out sunny images that show the economic development potential of investment in the South Side areas surrounding Washington Park.

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Obama Library proposal calls for an enormous park over Chicago’s Eisenhower Expressway

(University of Illinois Chicago)

(University of Illinois Chicago)

A lush green park reaching over the Eisenhower Expressway. Bus rapid transit connections. Economic invigoration for the North Lawndale neighborhood.

Those are some of the visions outlined in the University of Illinois Chicago‘s proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library, made public Monday.

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Obama library round-up: Woodlawn, Lakeside, Bronzeville and more vying for nation’s 14th presidential library

(HOK)

HOK’s scheme for Bronzeville. (HOK)

Speculation over the future site of President Barack Obama’s presidential library has picked up as a slew of Chicago sites—as well as some in New York, Hawaii, and even Kenya—made the June deadline for proposals. Ultimately the decision is up to the President and the board tasked with developing what will be the nation’s 14th presidential library, but dozens of groups are attempting to tug at that group’s ears. (Even I used AN‘s June editorial page to consider the library’s urban impact.) Here’s a round-up of some of the Chicago proposals made public so far.

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