Rejecting a rough-edged urban site for what could be a showcase near the lakefront, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have selected Chicago’s historic Jackson Park as the site of his presidential library, sources said Wednesday.
The choice, which leaked out ahead of a formal announcement expected next week, elated some South Side residents but disappointed advocates of the other finalist site, Washington Park, whose surrounding neighborhood is pockmarked by vacant lots.
Capping more than a year of competition between the two South Side sites, the selection will put the library within blocks of the popular Museum of Science and Industry and in a park that drew millions of visitors from around the world during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
Together, the two attractions might form a “Museum Campus South” that could rival the downtown Museum Campus. The center would be a short hop from either Lake Shore Drive or two Metra train stations, strong pulls for visitors.
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