Several Chicago Locations Vying for Obama Presidential Library

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According to the Chicago Tribune, several locations in Chicago are vying for the opportunity to be the official location of the Barack Obama Presidential Library. Currently, the University of Chicago, the University of Hawaii, and developers of the now abandoned U.S. Steel South Works site on the city's southeast side have put in bids to be the site of the next presidential library honoring the current Commander-in-Chief. Additionally, the Bronzeville neighborhood is considering entering a bid to compete as well.

Here are some details about the competition for the Barack Obama Presidential Library, including what it could mean for Chicago:

* The Associated Press reported that a 37-acre site in the historically black Bronzeville neighborhood has been proposed as a potential presidential library site.

* Harold Lucas, president of the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council in Bronzeville, commented that the neighborhood would be a good fit for the library since it is a place where many black leaders worked or lived.

* Every president since Herbert Hoover has sponsored a presidential library, which hold the records from each president's administration, making the opportunity to have such a site a major cultural and economic boost to the local area, noted USA Today.

* Presidential libraries typically bring in 200,000 to 300,000 visitors each year and help foster job and further economic growth.

* Some of these libraries are more successful than others. The Abraham Lincoln President Library in Museum in Springfield has the highest attendance of all presidential libraries in the country and brings in $24 million in economic benefits each year.

* The University of Hawaii, representing Obama's birth state, has made a huge push to obtain the library in Honolulu and the Hawaii General Assembly has even passed a resolution for Obama to choose the state as the official library site.

* Additionally, Obama and his family have strong ties to the University of Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

* Obama has called Chicago home for many years and was a member of the university's law school faculty for 12 years.

* Additionally, first lady Michelle Obama served as an executive at the University of Chicago Medical Center and both of their daughters attended the Lab School as well.

* Overall, the University of Chicago is being viewed as the frontrunner for the presidential library.

* The presidential libraries serve as both museums and archives homes and current estimates place the cost of the future Obama library as much as $500 million.

* Even though the competition for the site is heating up already, the selection of the site could still take several years and Obama will be a key player in the decision.

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. Currently pursuing her master's degree in environmental science, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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