construction tops out for Obama Presidential Center


The Obama Presidential Center has reached its final height of 68.5 meters in Chicago. The building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), was first revealed in 2017, with more details emerging in early 2018. The Obama Foundation held the topping out ceremony on June 11th, 2024, in the presence of the former US president and a few construction workers. ‘The dedication that all you have shown — the professionalism, the hard work — is something that I could not be more grateful for and appreciative,’ Obama declared during his site visit to mark this milestone. 

obama presidential center reaches its final height in chicago
Obama Presidential Center plans first revealed in 2017 | render © TWBTA



a new museum with community programs in chicago


Spanning 25,641 sqm, the Obama Presidential Center campus will include a presidential museum underscoring the important role that the south side of Chicago played in shaping president and Michelle Obama’s worldviews. A contemplative, multi-purpose space will be located at the top of the museum with vistas out to the surrounding neighborhoods. the site will also feature a branch of the Chicago Public Library as well as a fruit and vegetable garden and teaching kitchen. an athletic center for recreation, community programming, and events is also included, as well as a great lawn, new walking and biking trails, and a children’s play area.

obama presidential center reaches its final height in chicago
topping out at 68.5 meters tall | image via the Obama Foundation on Instagram



Meanwhile, the Obama Foundation says that it is committed to ensuring the center  preserves and enhances the adjacent Jackson Park — giving new life to Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of a cohesive and walkable public space by reunifying parkland, planting new trees, increasing biodiversity, and providing newly expanded habitat for birds and wildlife. Michael van Valkenburgh Associates is leading the project’s landscape architect team in partnership with Site Design Group and Living Habitats — two Chicago-based firms.  Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects has worked alongside Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) on the project’s architecture.

obama presidential center reaches its final height in chicago
Baraka Obama at the topping out ceremony | image via the Obama Foundation on Instagram

obama presidential center reaches its final height in chicago
image courtesy the Obama Foundation


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project info:


name: Obama Presidential Center 

location: Jackson Park, Chicago, IL

architecture team: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects + Interactive Design Architects (IDEA)

organized by: The Obama Foundation @obamafoundation

topping out ceremony: June 11th, 2024

completion: 2025 (expected)