Friday, January 24, 2014

SUN-TIMES: Chicago to make unified bid for Obama presidential library

Well this is a great idea to post a single bid, however, that means the many universities or neighborhoods who are vying to be the site for a Presidential libraries would have to make their own pitches. It sounds fair of course, but then hey there's no guarantee it'll be in Chicago anyway.
Chicago is going to make one unified bid for President Barack Obama’s Presidential Library and Museum, with the University of Chicago and other city schools not making solo plays, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told me Thursday.

“We are going to run a process. But my goal is to have the City of Chicago, with its major educational institutions, have a single proposal,” Emanuel said.

“I don’t expect us to win this based on some sentiment toward the city,” Emanuel said.

As for his pitch to Obama, “I will remind him about his roots in Chicago, but I expect us to be as a city and as university systems competitive and to be very competitive in our proposal to have it come to Chicago.”

I have handicapped Obama’s library/museum as the University of Chicago’s to lose given its very close ties to the Obama family and its long list of wealthy potential donors in the Obama orbit.

With Emanuel moving to consolidate the city’s resources for a bid, University of Chicago has little choice but to forge an alliance with Emanuel, because it brings Emanuel’s own formidable fundraising abilities to the package.

City Hall has already been working internally on the project, Emanuel said. “Let me say this. It is important for the city to have the president’s library in his hometown, and we will be very competitive in our proposal, and we have put a lot of thought into it.”
According to this AP write-up from where I found the link to the Sun-Times, here are the groups who want the Presidential library:
 The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago State University, and the University of Chicago have all expressed interest in being home to the library. So has a group from Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood that's promoting a lakefront site at a now-closed hospital.
OK, University of Chicago is a logical choice. And so is putting this library in Bronzeville at the site for the former Michael Reese Hospital. It would be cool if it was on the south side at Chicago State University. Have anyone else heard that the Pullman neighborhood was interested as well? It appears they're not even a blip on the radar now.

Oh yeah as for that Bronzeville site:
City Hall considers the former Michael Reese Hospital site at 29th and Ellis — close to downtown and an easy trip for tourists — as too big and too costly to develop.
Tourists can take a bus there or we could build an IC - oh I'm sorry Metra Electric - stop nearby to that site. Still it probably isn't as beneficial if it costs money to develop.

ALSO consider they mentioned fundraising. So UIC and Chicago State may not get the library because they may not have the fundraising ability of UChicago. In addition to that if Mayor Emanuel gets behind UChicago that will be a bid that's hard to beat.

Where do you think President Obama's library should reside?

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