As you know, once Presidents leave the White House, Presidential library plans begin and new buildings flourish in the location desired by the respective President. George W. Bush’s Presidential library is located in Dallas, Texas. Bill Clinton’s is in Little Rock, Arkansas. Ronald Reagan’s is in Simi Valley, California. It’s really no surprise that Barack Obama’s will be in Chicago, Illinois. Specifically, on the University of Chicago’s campus.
The funny thing is that, according to Campus Reform: “more than 150 University of Chicago professors and lecturers are protesting a ‘socially regressive’ plan to build an ‘Obama Center’ next to the school’s campus.”
I don’t think I’ve ever heard such harsh words spoken by college professors about anything related to Barack Obama. Don’t misunderstand, they still want the Obama Center in Chicago, but they do have concerns about where exactly the former President intends to have it built.
In a letter signed by faculty members, the professors write: “First, there are concerns that the Obama Center as currently planned will not provide the promised development or economic benefits to the neighborhood.”
Gee, Obama failing to deliver on a promise? That’s new.
The letter continues: “Because the current plans place the Center next to the Museum of Science and Industry and across the street from the University of Chicago campus, there is no available adjacent land in which to start a new business, set up a new café or restaurant, [or] bring another cultural center to the neighborhood.”
Putting aside the fact that I’m surprised these college professors care at all about the possibility of a new business starting there, it really seems like the Obama Center will really inconvenience the community in multiple ways. After 8 years of heavily inconveniencing the country (and that’s putting it lightly), he seemingly is looking for smaller ways in which he can inconvenience people he couldn’t care less about.
But the letter is not done. “At a time of increasing complexity and pressure in urban life, Chicago should be dedicated to preserving our public parks as open areas for relaxation and play for all its citizens.” This in particular criticizes the intrusion the Center will have on the neighboring public parks: the Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park.
The professors also criticize plans to construct an above-ground parking garage which takes up some of the space of the parks, protesting that although "public lands are being given away, all the profits from this parking lot will go to the Obama Foundation. None of the funds will go back to the City to improve train lines and public transportation infrastructure. Overall, this is a socially regressive plan.”
According to the Associated Press, the Foundation has opted to drop the plans for the above-ground garage. Instead, it will be underground. And, of course, there will be a parking fee.
The letter makes one final criticism of the Obama Center by saying: “Finally, it is the taxpayers of Chicago who are going to be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for this project… The required widening of Lake Shore Drive alone is estimated to be over $100 million.” The entire project is estimated to cost half a billion dollars.
The letter ends by saying: “We are concerned that rather than becoming a bold vision for urban living in the future it will soon become an object-lesson in the mistakes of the past… We would be pleased to support the Obama Center if the plan genuinely promoted economic development in our neighborhoods and respected our precious public urban parks.”
When did any Obama plan genuinely promote any sort of economic development anywhere in the country? We had 8 years of a terrible economy that was on life support. Obama didn’t help the national economy, how could you expect him to help a local economy? How can you expect him to care whatsoever about it?
Of course, these college professors are liberals themselves, so they have certain expectations that Obama isn’t the incarnation of Satan.
Regardless, it fascinates me that even after leaving the White House, Obama can still find ways to screw people, albeit in a far smaller scale. He no longer has Presidential power. He does have power, but not nearly as much as he did before. No doubt that’s a fact that irks him.
Now, the letter only addresses the fact that it will be a massive economic and urban inconvenience. And it is important to establish that. But you also have to look at the very design of the building. Ben Shapiro said that it looks like a Chinese takeout container. To me, it looks like a poorly-designed and borderline-useless candle. It also sort of looks like an ancient Mayan structure.
I’m no architect, but I do have functioning eyes. The Obama Center is an eye-sore. Not only is it economically inconvenient, but it’s honestly rather ugly to look at.
Just another way Obama looks to mess with people he doesn’t care about. And even though the population of Chicago is largely liberal, especially the University of Chicago, I can’t help but feel sorry for them. They made very good points on why it shouldn’t be where it is, but I also feel sorry that it’s something these people will have to look at every time they’re in the area.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the Obama Foundation will care enough to move the site somewhere more economically advantageous for the city.
1 Thessalonians 5:22
“Reject every kind of evil.”
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