Columbia University, not the University of Chicago, might win the bid as the location of the Barack Obama Presidential library and museum, given the President’s issue with U of C’s bid, according to Chicago Sun Times. The problem is the University of Chicago does not own the land on the site it has proposed on its South Side. The land is owned by the Chicago Park District.
This puts the heat on Chicago’s mayor and Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to come up with a solution. A source said, “The point is, the city needs to solve the problem as much as the University of Chicago.” Emanuel’s adviser David Spielfogel said Emanuel is adamant that Chicago should be the site for the Obama presidential library and museum, but is equally adamant that the lands should remain under public control, and that “surrounding communities have a say in the process.”
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The University of Illinois at Chicago has also made a bid, but it is undergoing a leadership transition, and sources say it is uncertain how committed the new leadership will be to the project. Columbia owns all of the land included in the bid, and Chicago might lose out if this is not resolved. Another suggestion is that the presidential museum in library could be located in the President’s birthplace, Hawaii.