Barack Obama Presidential Center

Design for Obama library and museum off to surprisingly somber start

Design for Obama library and museum off to surprisingly somber start

It would be easy enough to complain that the May 3 unveiling of a preliminary design for Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum, over which a relaxed and tieless Obama presided, was short on details. All that reporters and critics were left to sift through after the announcement at Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center, where Barack and Michelle Obama held their wedding reception in 1992, were a couple of site plans, a photograph of a model and one solitary if rather painterly rendering.

No elevations or sections from the architects, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien of New York and Chicago’s Dina Griffin. No precise numbers about what the complex near Lake Michigan on the South...

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