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Reflections from Paul Norrington

On Feb 25, 2013; before any finalists; before the major interested parties became widely known, this was posted on our original Group Page, “Westside Presidential Library:” The recent revelation that the University of Chicago (U of C) actually did plan on using Lakefront property at the South Shore Cultural Center, gives more credence to this early observation.

For years, people have complained that this city’s wealth and attention are concentrated on the lakefront, and little of it trickling down to the inner city. Take a look at the beauty and appeal of the lakefront. It’s a beauty that comes, not just from that grand expanse of deep water, but also from the magnificent buildings stretched along the lake. Wherever you live, you have to admit that Chicago has a beautiful skyline. That beauty has spread away from the lake in the past. In 1869, the state legislature established the West Chicago Park Commission which went on the build our unique park/boulevard system, thus making the inner city more attractive for private investment. 1869 was 144 years ago. Since that time, what equally major investment for economic growth has this city put in its neighborhoods?

His library would be just another jewel in a glorious crown, on the lakefront. Or it could be transformative. It can say, “The problems of ALL Americans need to be addressed”. It can stand alone, away from the beauty of the lakefront, as a monument to what one man can do to make a difference.

Photo: University of Chicago
Don't Miss These Upcoming Public Hearings

In an effort to salvage the University of Chicago’s bid for an Obama Presidential Library, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District will be hosting two public hearings to convey Chicago Park District-owned land to the City of Chicago. In the event the Obama Foundation selects the University of Chicago’s bid, the City will then negotiate with the Obama Foundation to convey the land to the Foundation. The first hearing will be Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 6:00 p.m. at Hyde Park High School, right across the street from one of the sites in Jackson Park that U of C has proposed for the library. The second hearing is set for Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 12:00 noon, at the Washington Park Fieldhouse, near another proposed site at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Garfield Boulevard. 
West Side residents are encouraged to attend the meetings and encourage Mayor Emanuel and the Department of Housing and Economic Development to also host public hearings on the UIC-North Lawndale bid for the Obama Presidential Library. The UIC-North Lawndale bid includes 2 proposed sites, including one on the UIC campus and one in North Lawndale. The proposed North Lawndale site is a 23-acre vacant, city-owned parcel located at Roosevelt and Kostner. Public hearings would be required to convey the city-owned parcel to the Obama Foundation in the event that UIC-North Lawndale is a successful bidder. Having the hearings now would put the UIC-North Lawndale bid on equal footing with the U of C bid.  You may call the Mayor’s Office at 312-744-3300.
Friends of the Parks Oppose Use of Park-Owned Land for Obama Presidential Library

Friends of the Parks has gone on record as supporting an Obama Presidential Library in Chicago, so long as public park land is not used.  Here is a link to their letter to President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Obama Presidential Library in the News

BRIAN CASSELLA/CHICAGO TRIBUNE Columbia University wants the Obama presidential library as part of its new Manhattanville campus.

Inside NYC’s bid for Obama library
Chicago Tribune, January 10, 2015 here
Obama Presidential Library: 4 South Side aldermen back U. of Chicago bid
Chicago Sun-Times, January 8, 2015 here
Nearly 40 Local Groups Pledge Support for Obama Library Park Land Plan
DNA Info January 8, 2015 here
Potential Obama Library neighbors seek benefits
Chicago Reporter, January 8, 2015 here
Obama Library foundation pleased with progress of Chicago bidders
Chicago Tribune, January 8, 2015 here
Obama library officials dissatisfied with Chicago’s two bids
Chicago Tribune, December 30, 2014 here
Emanuel administration races to save Obama library bid
Crain’s Chicago Business, December 30, 2014 here
Chicago Obama library bids in trouble; foundation has ‘major concerns’
with U. of C. proposal
Chicago Sun-Times, December 30, 2014 here

Obama library officials dissatisfied with Chicago’s two bids
Chicago Tribune, December 30, 2014 here

Emanuel administration races to save Obama library bid
Crain’s Chicago Business, December 30, 2014 here

Chicago Obama library bids in trouble; foundation has ‘major concerns’ with U. of C. proposal
Chicago Sun-Times, December 30, 2014 here

Review our tweets @NLOPL to get a more complete and current listing of articles regarding the Obama Presidential Library.  Follow us @NLOPL to stay abreast of the latest developments.

Need to Catch Up on What You Missed?

A lot has happened with the bid over the past few weeks.  Read archived issues of our e-blast here
We're Taking This
Show on the Road!

We will be meeting with organizations, churches and schools throughout the North Lawndale community and West Side. We will provide information on the Presidential Libraries, answer frequently asked questions and look for ways we may sponsor joint activities to engage your constituents in promoting the UIC-North Lawndale proposal for the Obama Presidential Library. Here is a link to the video of the standard presentation. We will tailor meetings to suit your needs. For further information, email Marcus De La Fleur at 

Wear the Badge

For a suggested donation of $1.00, you can get your "Build it in North Lawndale" Obama Presidential Library buttons. For further information, email Marcus De La Fleur at
Post the Badge

Do you have a website? Show your support of the UIC-North Lawndale Obama Presidential Library bid by posting a badge on your website and exchanging links with us.  Our website URL is
Check Out Our Social Media!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Follow us @NLOPL. You will be able to get updates, interact with our other followers and view videos of our local heroes sharing North Lawndale stories. We encourage you to ask your Twitter followers to follow this page and engage us in conversation. Post "Bring the and

Find Us on Facebook!

Make sure to "Like" the North Lawndale Presidential Library page and encourage your Facebook friends to do the same. You will get updates and be able to have conversations with other fans and North Lawndale stakeholders.  Please, encourage your Facebook friends to "like" and share this page as well.

Visit Our Website!

Our website went live on December 7, 2014.  When you visit, you will get an overview of the North Lawndale bid, learn about other Presidential Libraries, be able to give feedback about the proposed Presidential Library in North Lawndale, see our Twitter feed and get other updates. Please, visit the website the Chicago Way--early and often! You are encouraged to follow our blogs to get instant updates every time a new blog article is posted.

Thanks for helping us generate a buzz!
Copyright © 2015 North Lawndale Presidential Library Committee, All rights reserved.

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