POLITICS

Obama's Presidential Library Will Be In Chicago: Reports

04/30/2015 07:13 pm ET | Updated May 01, 2015

CHICAGO -- The Obama presidential library will be located on the South Side of Chicago, according to reports from CBS Chicago and NBC News. The official announcement will reportedly be made during the week of May 11.

According to CBS Chicago, President Barack Obama implied that he would choose the South Side of Chicago during a phone call to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) last Friday. Also on the call were other state Democratic officials, whom Obama thanked for passing legislation that would allow the library to be built on Chicago park land.

The Sun-Times had strongly hinted since mid-March that a South Side site was all but a done deal.

A spokesman at the University of Chicago, which has heavily championed the South Side location, could not confirm the news to The Huffington Post.

The university's efforts have been led by Susan Sher, an adviser to the university's president, Robert Zimmer, and a former chief of staff for first lady Michelle Obama.

The Obamas have deep roots on the South Side: Michelle Obama grew up there, and the president began his political career as a community organizer there before serving as an Illinois state senator representing the area. He also taught at the University of Chicago's law school for 12 years.

The University of Chicago's bid was reportedly chosen over bids from Columbia University in New York (Obama's alma mater), the University of Hawaii and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The decision on where to build was delayed because the Obama Foundation, which oversees the logistics and fundraising for the library, had reservations about the University of Chicago's bid, which proposed two sites located on park land owned by neither the university nor the city of Chicago. Both sites were controlled by the Chicago Park District, but in March, Emanuel and the Chicago City Council worked out a deal to transfer control of the land to the city.

The Obama Foundation again delayed the decision when Emanuel was facing a runoff challenge in the recent mayoral race -- it did not want the library to factor into the contest. Emanuel has been very active in pushing for a Chicago location.

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