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The Obama Presidential Center is an awe-inspiring 19.3 acre campus nestled within Chicago’s historic Jackson Park. Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, this campus will be a global hub for inspiration, action, and community.

A rendering of the future Obama Presidential Center in the fall.

Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Obama Presidential Center is scheduled to open in 2026.

The Obama Presidential Center will include a world-class museum and public gathering spaces that celebrate our nation’s first African American President and First Lady on the South Side of Chicago. President and Mrs. Obama believe that building the Obama Presidential Center is an opportunity to give back to and reinvest in the community that forever shaped their lives, values, and beliefs.

The Center was designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects + Partners, and the landscape was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

When it's complete, the project will be a welcoming, vibrant campus where people from across the street or around the globe can come to get inspired, find common ground, and take action.

The John Lewis Plaza

Upon arriving, visitors will be welcomed into the heart of the Center—a public plaza that serves as a place for the Foundation and our neighbors to host informal and planned gatherings alike. Anchored by public art, the Plaza will connect the Forum, Library and Museum buildings, and be a space to host outdoor performances, markets, and fairs, named in honor of the late civil rights leader and Congressman, John Lewis.

The Forum

The Forum building will serve as a place to welcome the local community—a commons designed to bring people together. Largely built into the landscape of Jackson Park, the Forum will feature numerous collaborative and creative spaces, including the Hadiya Pendleton Winter Garden, the Elie Wiesel Auditorium, a recording studio, flexible program rooms and a restaurant. It will also provide plenty of spaces for people to relax, eat, do their homework, or play a game 
of chess.

A graphic depiction of people milling around a tiled courtyard in front of a long, rectangular building.

The Hadiya Pendleton Winter Garden

The Winter Garden is named in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago teen who died by gun violence shortly after participating in President Obama’s second inauguration activities with her majorette squad. The long, rectangular space spans the western face of the Forum Building with large windows that look out to the Plaza, and it includes a platform for performances and small gatherings, and spaces to sit and enjoy casual connections.

The Elie Wiesel Auditorium

The Auditorium, a signature space at the Center and also located in the Forum, is named in honor of Holocaust survivor and political activist, Elie Wiesel. Inspired by programming in the East Room of the White House during the Obama Presidency, the Auditorium is where the arts and humanities will come to life and dynamic speakers and performers from the South Side of Chicago, across the country, and around the world will reach the world.

A graphic rendering of an auditorium with wood tiered seating around a stage.

The Museum

A rendering of the Museum Building is shown from the North.

The Museum building will be a new landmark for the South Side, welcoming visitors to Jackson Park and marking the Center as an historic civic destination. The Museum building design embodies the idea of ascension—of a movement upward from the grassroots. Its form Gis inspired by the idea of four hands coming together; a recognition that many hands shape a place.

Three photos in a horizontal collage: one of a young Barack Obama with voting posters, one of a young Barack Obama and an older woman walking down the street, and one of a young Barack Obama drawing on a chalkboard.

Help Preserve History

The Barack Obama Foundation is actively seeking materials for acquisition consideration and potential display at the Obama Presidential Center Museum on Chicago’s South Side.

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A rendering of the Library at the Obama Presidential Center.

Chicago Public Library Branch

A new branch of the Chicago Public Library will feature interactive digital media spaces and amenities for children, informational and vocational resources for adults, and a reading room for all to enjoy. This unique partnership is the first of its kind and will provide almost every South Side resident with access to a public library within walking distance.

World-renowned artist and Chicago native Richard Hunt’s “Book Bird” sculpture will be placed in the garden outside of the new Chicago Public Library branch on the Obama Presidential Center campus.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Fruit & Vegetable Garden

Similar to the garden that Mrs. Obama planted at the White House, this one will be a place where young people and community members can get their hands dirty and learn about growing fruits and vegetables—and there will even be a few bee hives for honey.

An animation shows people ranging of all ages and skin tones, enjoying the Obama Presidential Center
A rendering of the Programs & Athletic center

Home Court

Anchoring the southwest corner of our campus in Jackson Park, Home Court at the Obama Presidential Center will serve as a place for active community engagement and enrichment.

As one of several hubs at the Presidential Center, this 45,000 square foot multipurpose space will act as a venue for a variety of youth and adult programming, professional conferences, and community events for organizations.

An animated rendering of artist Maya Lin's sculpture for the Obama Presidential Center's Ann Dunham Water Garden. A round stone with water trickling across the surface and over the edges is surrounded by a young girl and a young woman gazing at it. In the background, a circular stone has a hole in the center, showing people of various ages and skin tones walking and talking. The entire sculpture is in a wooded area.

The introspective and intimate Ann Dunham Water Garden will honor the life and legacy of President Obama’s mother.


The Obama Presidential Center will feature a Wetland Walk, which will capture stormwater that will be treated and reused to irrigate the landscape.

The Obama Presidential Center will feature a Wetland Walk, which will capture stormwater that will be treated and reused to irrigate the landscape.


A rendering of the playground at the Obama Presidential Center.

A dynamic two-acre play area will be a memorable place for children of all ages.


A rendering of the Great Lawn shows a movie night in the park with a large crowd gathered at dusk.

The Great Lawn is a place for sledding in the winter, picnics in the summer, and to gather for movies in the park.


A rendering of the Programs & Athletic center

Home Court at the Obama Presidential Center will serve as a place for active community engagement and enrichment.


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Neighbors We Love in the Community

Learn how community engagement is key to building the Obama Presidential Center.

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