The exact site of the Barack Obama presidential library and museum won't be determined for six to nine months, but for many, the critical piece of information confirmed Tuesday is that the president chose Chicago's South Side to be the home of his legacy.
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Ultimately, Barack and Michelle decided to return to their roots," Obama Foundation Chairman Martin Nesbitt said in making the formal announcement shortly after noon Tuesday in Chicago:
"The same streets where a young community organizer once inspired his community to take action will serve as the home base for a foundation that will organize and inspire people of all backgrounds and beliefs to better their communities, their country and their world."
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The Barack Obama Presidential Center likely will open in 2020 or 2021, Nesbitt said.
Many questions and thorny issues are ahead: how much the surrounding community will benefit; whether longtime residents will be driven out; and how the center and public infrastructure surrounding it will be funded.
But for the moment, Chicago is setting aside its reputation for political gamesmanship and celebrating.
"I'm not going to compare this to when the president was elected," said Ghian Foreman, a lifelong South Sider who was active in bringing the library here. "But it's the same kind of thing, where you could take a deep breath. It's this feeling of elation and a collective sigh of relief, that, after all these weeks, it's really here."
The president and first lady Michelle Obama first announced that the library would be on the South Side via a video posted on the foundation website at 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Michelle Obama said in the video that she was "thrilled to be able to put this resource in the heart of the neighborhood that means the world to me. Every value, every memory, every important relationship to me exists in Chicago. I consider myself a South Sider."
"All the strands of my life came together and I really became a man when I moved to Chicago," the president said in the video. "That's where I was able to apply that early idealism to try to work in communities in public service. That's where I met my wife. That's where my children were born."READ MORE