Plans were finally unveiled this week for Barack Obama’s Presidential Center in Chicago. This comes after a bit of controversy over the designs and months of back and fourth between the Obamas and architects over the cost, size and scope of the work.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, their first designs were rejected for not being as ambitious as the Obamas wanted. The feedback from the former first couple was that the original designs were “too unflashy.” Obama then went on to say, “you could be sort of quiet but I think you’re a little too quiet” with the designs. The final designs, unveiled to city planners with the Obamas in attendance, along with friends and aides, show a tall temple-like structure, surrounded by lush roof-top gardens and open communal space.
As we are constantly reminded, even in post presidency, Barack Obama must not be remembered as just any other president (or even president-elect). Everything must be bigger, brighter and appear more audacious than any other, which might explain why construction on the monument is expected to cost almost three times more than that for any of his predecessors.