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Maggie Daley Park architect tapped to design Obama Presidential Library grounds

Maggie Daley Park architect tapped to design Obama Presidential Library grounds
Photograph: CC/Flickr/Marlin Keesler
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates has led the design for numerous award-winning civic projects, including Maggie Daley Park (pictured).

Brooklyn-based landscape design firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates—the group behind Maggie Daley Park and the 606—will lead the landscape architecture team for Chicago’s Barack Obama Presidential Center, the Obama Foundation announced on Monday. Chicago-based firms Site Design Group and Living Habitats will also support the landscape designs for the presidential library. 

“This highly skilled and diverse team stood out in their commitment to creating accessible public spaces that honor their environment, community and history,” Obama Foundation CEO David Simas said in a press release. The landscape architect team will work with previously announced architectural firms Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and InterActive Design Architects.

Site Design Group has worked on numerous Chicago Park District projects across the city, according to the Obama Foundation. Ernie Wong, who founded the minority-owned firm, said his roots in the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities have instilled a sense of responsibility to the South Side, which he will bring to the project. “We look forward to helping this talented team forge the future of this institution as part of Jackson Park, reflecting the rich history and traditions of the South Side and watching the OPC stand as a beacon for the people of this great country,” Wong said. In the press release, Living Habitats President Heidi Natura added that the Presidential Center will reflect the Obamas’ commitment to sustainability and the natural environment.

In July, the Obama Foundation announced that the Obama Presidential Center would be located in Jackson Park. According to the Chicago Tribune, the center is expected to cost at least $500 million.

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