Obama says he wants presidential library in Chicago

President Obama speaks at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago, Illinois, February 19, 2015.


At an event in Washington last Saturday, President Obama told members of the Chicago Tribune editorial board that he hopes his presidential library is built in the city where his political career took off.

"I hope it goes to Chicago," he said.

The Barack Obama Foundation was slated to announce the location of the library by the end of the month, but the president told the Tribune that there have been "some entanglements."

Mr. Obama did not elaborate, though the city is still debating the proposed library plans. On Wednesday, Chicago's city council will vote on a plan to transfer about 20 acres of public parkland to the city, should the University of Chicago win the bid to host Mr. Obama's library.

The University of Chicago, where Mr. Obama used to teach, is considered the frontrunner for the bid. The school is competing against Columbia University in New York City and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. The University of Illinois at Chicago has also bid for the library, though the two Chicago universities recently held a "unity breakfast" to show that they want the library to land in their city, regardless of which school hosts it.

Meanwhile, the selection of the library's location has also likely been held up by Chicago's mayoral race, the Tribune noted. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a close Obama ally, faces off against challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in a runoff election on April 7. The Barack Obama Foundation is expected to announce the library's location after the race.