Note: Given its height of 242 feet, yesterday’s Fulton Labs at 400 N Aberdeen would actually place as #20 in the countdown rather than #22. For the sake of consistency, today’s entry and tomorrow’s entry will still be labeled as #21 and #20, respectively.
Claiming the 21st spot in YIMBY’s year-end countdown is the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. The Obama Foundation recently broke ground on its cultural campus centered around the 219-foot-tall museum tower designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and landscape architecture by Michael van Valkenburg Associates.
Becoming the second presidential library for the state along with the Lincoln Library in Springfield, the new center replaces an underutilized football field, which has been relocated, and adjoining green spaces. The design of the main tower represents four hands coming together in ascension and holds the library, which will operate differently than its predecessors by being completely digital and borrowing its collection from an off-site archive.
The new center will also build new community facilities spread out into various low slung buildings including creative spaces, dining, a museum, a new Chicago Public Library location, and athletic recreation facilities. The grounds will also contain various plazas, green spaces, rooftop gardens, playground, sledding hills, and a large stormwater treatment wetland open for nature walks.
Scheduled to open in 2025, the $830 million project is predicted to attract over 750,000 annual visitors and boost the local area’s economy and tourism. The center will also collaborate with the University Of Chicago as a research center and contribute to the continued growth of Hyde Park that has recently brought new hotels, campus buildings, and more.