CHICAGO (CBS) — There was a big reveal for the Obama Presidential Center on Sunday.
The Obama Foundation unveiled the quotes that will grace the building’s exterior and the inspirational meaning behind them:
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“You are America. Unconstrained by habit and convention. Unencumbered by what is, ready to seize what ought to be. For everywhere in this country, there are first steps to be taken, there is new ground to cover, there are more bridges to be crossed. America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We The People.’ ‘We Shall Overcome.’ ‘Yes We Can.’ That word is owned by no one. It belongs to everyone. Oh, what a glorious task we are given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.”
Then-President Obama spoke those words in 2015, on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday – the attack on voting rights marchers in Selma, Alabama.
Today, we’re excited to unveil the words that will appear on the exterior of the Obama Presidential Center Museum—a place to learn from history that will also offer future leaders inspiration and tools to write chapters of their own.
Watch the video below to see for yourself: pic.twitter.com/gWCpCGIf31
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) March 7, 2021
Quotes from the speech will become part of the part of the architecture of the Obama Presidential Center Museum in Jackson Park.
The Obama Foundation said it plans to break ground on the center this year. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said the city is planning to begin pre-construction work in April, including relocating utility lines on the 19.3 acre site in Jackson Park, south of the Museum of Science and Industry.
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Preliminary roadwork and physical construction could follow as early as August.
The center will include a 235-foot stone tower housing the site’s museum; a Chicago Public Library branch; a multipurpose space on top of the museum, a program, activity, and athletic center for community programs and events; a Great Lawn for social gatherings, barbecues, a nature center; and new walking and biking trails; a children’s play area; and a fruit and vegetable garden and teaching kitchen.
The center will not include a formal presidential library operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Rather, Obama’s collection of presidential documents and artifacts will be stored in existing NARA facilities, and non-classified documents will be available online.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Another Mild Day
A federal review of the project was required because Obama decided to build the center in Jackson Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That review by the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration determined the center and planned roadway changes in Jackson Park “would not have a significant impact on the environment,” according to the mayor’s office.