Speed Reads

sneak peek

This is what Obama's presidential library will look like

On Wednesday evening, former President Barack Obama unveiled this striking plan for his presidential library on the South Side of Chicago, the birthplace of his political career:

Aside from the library, the sprawling $500 million center — which is being designed by local architecture firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects — will feature an auditorium, a museum, a restaurant, a public garden, classrooms, and even a recording studio.

The center, which Obama likened to a "campus," is estimated to measure up to 225,000 square feet. Three separate buildings will be connected by underground tunnels, with openings to let in sunlight.

"What we want this to be is the world premiere institution for training young people and leadership to make a difference in their communities, in their countries, and in the world," Obama said at an event Wednesday in Chicago. Obama's will be the first presidential library built in an urban setting.

The project is scheduled to be completed in four years. In the meantime, Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have decided to donate $2 million to a summer jobs program in the city.