If Hawaii gets its way, the future Barack Obama Presidential Library will resemble a futuristic oceanside retreat more than a traditional government archive.
Universities in Chicago, Honolulu and New York City are vying for the right to host the Obama library. Earlier this month, committees from each school submitted proposals, and details and renderings are starting to emerge. One of the plans submitted by the University of Hawaii, located in the president's birthplace of Honolulu, includes detailed renderings of a teardrop-shaped structure on the edge of a coral reef. Stunning images from that architectural plan can be seen below.
From Chicago -- which has long been the favorite for host city, since it's where Obama built his political career, started his family and keeps his private residence -- proposals depict potential land use more than finished building concepts. Both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago are finalists. U of C, where Obama formerly taught at the law school, is viewed as the most likely winner.
U of C's plan is not to house the library on its Hyde Park campus but to build a park-heavy site in a bordering South Side neighborhood that needs the economic boost. Here are some images the school included in its proposal:
UIC has proposed a two-site model: a library in the city's economically depressed North Lawndale neighborhood and an institute at the University Village campus. The latter would stretch canopy-like over the expressway.
Columbia University in New York City, where Obama was an undergraduate, has been largely mum on plans, though in a statement, the school told The Associated Press it wants to put the library in Manhattanville (also known as West Harlem) at the school's satellite campus.
Though only one city can host the library, the AP notes that Obama could follow President Bill Clinton's lead and place the library in one city and a presidential foundation or institution in another.