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Building the Center

We’re building a welcoming, vibrant campus where people from across the street or from around the globe can come to get inspired, find common ground, and take action.

NBA-size courts, gymnasium and community space to open in 2025

See the plans for the 45,000-square-foot multipurpose athletic and events facility coming to the Obama Presidential Center.

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President Obama tilts his head upwards along with out-of-focus onlookers. A digital screen shows something out of focus behind him.
  • Watch
  • Barack Obama

Get a sneak peek at a four-story digital wall that will celebrate the “Power of Words” and pay homage to the first digital President.

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President Obama is smiling wearing sunglasses, a white hardhat with the Obama Foundation rising sun logo, gloves, and a bright orange safety vest over a long dress coat. He is holding a cup of coffee and standing next to a white woman wearing a neon yellow construction coat, hard hat, and goggles. They are walking in front of three other people with a range of light to deep skin tones wearing orange safety vests and white hard hats. They are all walking in an unfinished building with scaffolding in the background.
  • Chicago
  • Barack Obama

See the latest photos and stay up-to-date on the building process.

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A low angle shot shows workers on an orange basket lift affixing a panel of “Tapestry” stone to the lower west face of the Museum Building. A cloudy sunny sky is in the background.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Check out the latest construction update at the Obama Presidential Center.

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Representative John Lewis and President Barack Obama are sitting in a room together laughing in the middle of a conversation. Representative Lewis is sitting on a couch on the left-hand side of the image with his hands placed on his left knee. He is an older, brown-skinned man with a bald head. He is wearing a blue suit, with a white button-down shirt, and a blue tie. The couch Rep. Lewis is sitting on, is the color brown. President Obama is sitting on the right side of the image in a beige chair. He is wearing a black suit with a blue button-down shirt. His arms are placed on the side of the chair. In the room of the image is a beige coffee table with a large blue book on top of it. On the front of the book is the number, “44.” The room has beige walls with pictures on the left side. On the wall are three pictures: the largest picture features a blue background and the figure of a man’s arms and head; the second largest picture is an image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking during the March on Washington; the smallest picture is indistinguishable. In the room there is a small brown side table that sits between Rep. John Lewis and President Barack Obama. On the side table is a table lamp with a white lamp shade and two framed pictures.
  • Presidential History
  • Changemakers

Learn about the work of civil rights icon John Lewis and his influence on President Obama and the Obama Foundation.

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Michelle Obama is sitting at a wood table surrounded by young teens from the Ludzi Girls Secondary School in Malawi. In the image Michelle Obama has braids in her hair and is wearing a gray and black geometric shirt, with a series of gold bangles on her left wrist; she is smiling and clapping her hands together. Sitting on both sides of her and across from her are young teen girls. The two sitting next to her are wearing white button-down shirts. The young girl to her left is clasping his hands and smiling at her. Across from Michelle Obama are the backs of two young teen girls, who are staring at her. Both girls have closely cut hair; the boy on the left of the image is wearing a white button down shirt. The girl  on the right of the image is wearing a bright blue collared shirt.
  • Michelle Obama
  • Presidential History

Learn how Michelle Obama’s legacy is shaping the Obama Presidential Center.

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A view of the Museum Building rising to the sky on the site of the Obama Presidential Center. Cranes are in the sky as work continues on the garage rooftop. Construction equipment is scattered throughout.
  • Chicago
  • First Look

The days may be getting cooler, but things are heating up at the Obama Presidential Center!

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A construction worker in a white hard hat and orange safety vest looks at a structure as he stands on  the concrete floor of Museum Building Level 3
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Construction has reached the third floor, where a reconstruction of the Obama Oval Office will be on exhibit.

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On a clear day, a crane rises up behind a concrete building that’s under construction. In the foreground sits a rust-colored industrial trash bin and to the right, a construction worker wearing a white hard hat and yellow safety vest looks down at a pile of building material.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

It has been a season of great progress! The height of the stair and elevator wells have passed the halfway-point of the building.

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Brandon Breaux, a Black man with a deep skin tone, stands over five seated students. On the table is an iPad and illustrations. He is wearing a mint beanie. Space art is on the wall in the background.
  • First Look
  • The Arts

Artist Brandon Breaux and Dyett High School students showcase the power of culture and community.

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A massive crane stands high above a construction site.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Work on the Museum building has reached an exciting milestone with the placement of the street level deck to form the concrete floor at this level.

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A construction site with scaffolding, concrete and rebar. Two people wear neon yellow and hard hats on the right side.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Major structural work on the underground parking garage is complete!

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Dina Griffin, a Black woman with a light medium skin tone, holds a closed lip smile. She has shoulder length hair and is wearing a drop pearl necklace. An Illinois flag and an American flag are in the background.
  • Chicago
  • The Center

Hear from a South Side native and architect building the Obama Presidential Center.

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Crystal Moten, PhD, a Black woman with brown locs and a medium deep skin tone, smiles at the camera. She is wearing an orange blouse, blue beaded necklace, and red lipstick. In the background is a plant and gray curtain
  • Chicago
  • Community Engagement

Meet the women behind the Obama Presidential Center

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Two construction workers wearing bright orange and yellow vests appear to unload planks of wood. They stand in a cavernous room of concrete filled with insulation and other building materials.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

As the Center continues to take shape, we are thrilled to reach a new milestone in its construction.

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A woman with a medium-deep skin tone wearing an orange, gray, and yellow construction jacket and helmet looks up toward the sky while on a construction site. There are cranes in the background.
  • Chicago
  • Equality

Learn how we're getting local residents involved in the building trades.

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A building being constructed of concrete. Beams and rebar can be seen in scaffolding.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Construction at The Center has picked up considerably since the holidays, aided by the unseasonably mild weather.

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People wearing neon yellow safety gear gather around Barack Obama as he shakes hands with a woman in the center. A white tarp is behind them.
  • Chicago
  • Stories

Read the updates and see photos of this historic project from 2021-2022.

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An animation shows people ranging of all ages and skin tones, enjoying the Obama Presidential Center
  • Michelle Obama
  • Watch

From our earliest days of planning, we always knew we wanted to have a Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the future Obama Presidential Center

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In a room full of warm, dappled sunlight, former First Lady Michelle Obama leans down to hug her mother, Marian Robinson. Mrs. Robinson has her face against Mrs. Obama's, and embraces her with her hand.
  • Michelle Obama
  • Watch

Learn more about Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, and how she will be honored at the Obama Presidential Center.

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A black and white photo shows three airmen seated in a military truck in conversation.
  • Equality
  • Changemakers

It all started with an interview with Tuskegee Airman Colonel William R. Thompson.

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A group of baton twirlers smile to camera for a group photo.
  • Stories
  • Michelle Obama

In a special message, former First Lady Michelle Obama reflects on the life of Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed by gun violence in 2013. She also shared how the late teen will be honored at the Obama Presidential Center.

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President Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Governor Pritzker, and Mayor Lightfoot wave and clap while holding shovels.
  • Stories
  • Michelle Obama

Read the remarks former First Lady Michelle Obama delivered at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Presidential Center.

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President Obama hands holding a shovel, moving dirt.
  • Stories
  • Barack Obama

On Tuesday, September 28, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined President and Mrs. Obama at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Obama Presidential Center. Check out President Obama's remarks.

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President Obama hands holding a shovel, moving dirt.
  • Stories
  • Community Engagement

The City of Chicago's prep work in Jackson Park officially kicks off our Road to Groundbreaking—a celebration of Chicago and everyone who is helping us make this dream a reality. Join us.

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A rendering depiction of the Plaza at the Obama Presidential Center.
  • Stories
  • Chicago

Watch a special message from President Obama about the Obama Presidential Center.

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The Obama Foundation Logo
  • Stories
  • Chicago

Yesterday, we took an important step toward bringing the Obama Presidential Center to life as the Chicago Plan Commission unanimously voted to allow our project to move forward to the City Council.

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President Obama speaks on a microphone that is propped up on a clear glass stand with the Obama Foundation rising sun logo on the front.
  • Stories
  • Community Engagement

During Tuesday’s meeting at McCormick Place, we received productive and inspiring feedback from the public  -- and we wanted to make sure we shared that with you.

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Obama Foundation panel at Public Meeting at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, September 14, 2017.
  • Stories
  • Chicago

Last night, the Obama Foundation hosted a public meeting in Chicago, bringing together hundreds of local residents to hear more about the Obama Presidential Center plans and share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback with us.

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The Obama Foundation will have projects, programs, and digital networks all over the world. We are looking for passionate people from your community to join us. Will you join us?