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Report: Obama chooses Chicago's Jackson Park as site of future presidential library

The first couple has purportedly chosen Jackson Park over the other South Side finalist site, Washington Park.

By Doug G. Ware
Report: Obama chooses Chicago's Jackson Park as site of future presidential library
President Barack Obama waves to supporters following a speech at the 122nd International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., on October 27, 2015. Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that a source close to the president has confirmed that he and first lady Michelle Obama have decided to build the future Barack Obama Presidential Center in South Side Jackson Park, near Hyde Park and the shore of Lake Michigan. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO, July 27 (UPI) -- The future Barack Obama Presidential Center will be located in south Chicago's historic Jackson Park, the president and first lady have reportedly decided.

Sources close to the first couple confirmed Wednesday that the pair want to build the historical library at the park, which is located just south of Chicago's famous Hyde Park and near the shore of Lake Michigan, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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The other finalist site for the library was Washington Park, about three miles to the northwest. Regardless which park the Obamas ultimately chose, one thing has been clear -- the library was going to be somewhere on Chicago's South Side, the neighborhood where the president grew up.

Both parks were designed by 19th century landscapers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

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The Statue of the Republic stands in Chicago's Jackson Park. Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that President Barack Obama has decided to build his future presidential library in the park. Photo by Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

Jackson Park, named for former U.S. President Andrew Jackson, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

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Martin Nesbitt, chairman of the Obama Foundation, declined to confirm or deny that the library would go to Jackson Park, the Tribune reported.

The library is expected to cost more than $500 million and will include Obama's presidential archives, a museum and the headquarters of the Obama Foundation. It will be Chicago's first presidential library.

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"The city of Chicago was instrumental in demonstrating to the president and first lady the advantages of locating the future Obama Presidential Center in the city, and the University of Chicago brought to life the broad potential and vital energy of the South Side," Nesbitt said last year.

An official announcement from Obama on his selection of Jackson Park is expected sometime next week.

U.S. presidents' legacy libraries typically open a few years after they leave office.

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