Documents detail new cost for Obama Presidential Center in Chicago

With construction on the Obama Presidential Center officially underway, new documents show the latest price tag is about $830 million.

The cost for Barack Obama’s legacy project in a park on the city’s South Side has changed since the former president chose Jackson Park in 2016. In recent years it was around $500 million.

Construction, which began last Monday after years of delays, is expected to take about five years.


Documents released by the Obama Foundation show $700 million is for construction, $90 million will be for preparing exhibits and artifacts, and $40 million will be allocated for the first year of operating costs.

The foundation has collected $720 million in gifts since 2016 and aims to raise $1.6 billion over the next five years. Last year, more than 100 donors put in more than $1 million to the Obama Foundation. Some of the most recognizable donors include Bill and Melinda Gates, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin and Oprah Winfrey.

The presidential center’s campus will include a museum, public library branch and outdoor space.

Obama has said he hopes the center would help promote the city’s South Side and bring Chicagoans together.