Planning underway for Obama library





Chicago.  The site where Michael Reese Hospital once stood isn't much to look at, just a 37-acre swath of overgrown land in Bronzeville, behind a shoddy chain-link fence.

Developers are itching to build a casino or perhaps a sports entertainment complex on the city-owned property located in the shadows of downtown near the south lakefront. But residents of this historic African-American community have something grander in mind.

They envision a Barack Obama presidential library.

"This area tells the story of Chess Records, gospel music, blues and jazz, electrified by Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters," said Harold Lucas, president of the Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council in Bronzeville. "When people come to Chicago, that's what they want to see. They want to see the birthplace of Mr. Obama's political career."

Though Obama has not commented publicly about his plans for a library, every president since Herbert Hoover has established an archive in his home state to house papers from his White House tenure. That means the race could come down to Chicago — the city Obama most recently called home — and Honolulu — the city where he was born.




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