Presidential Libraries

Does every president need a separate library?

Opinion piece in the Washington Post

Excerpt: But why should each president get his own library? Multiple libraries are wasteful, costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year. And they’re undemocratic, because they allow our presidents — not the people who elected them — to define their legacies.

Presidential libraries aren’t mentioned in the Constitution or in any of our other founding documents. They date to 1938, when Franklin D. Roosevelt — midway through his second term of office — announced that he would personally construct a public archive in his native Hyde Park, N.Y.

Full piece:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/does-every-president-need-a-separate-library/2015/01/...

Chicago Obama Library Bids in Trouble

From The Chicago Sun Times:

The Barack Obama Foundation has major problems with the University of Chicago bid for the Obama presidential library and museum and is uneasy about the bid from the University of Illinois at Chicago, leaving Columbia University in New York the front-runner for the project.

A source close to the foundation told me that the University of Chicago bid is in jeopardy because it does not own — and has no definite path to acquiring at present — any of the South Side sites the school proposed in its Dec. 11 bid. The land is owned by the Chicago Park District.

“There are major concerns with the three potential sites in the University of Chicago proposal given the fact that neither the school nor the City of Chicago control the sites,” the source said.

The jolt from the foundation, led by Marty Nesbitt, a friend of President Barack Obama’s, puts pressure on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff. “The point is the city needs to solve the problem as much as the University of Chicago,” the source said.

Want to Design President Obama's Library? Call for Entries

Calling all architects and students, the Chicago Architectural Club (CAC) wants to see your ideas for The Barack Obama Presidential Library.

The recent media coverage surrounding the announced library, drawing bids from New York, Honolulu, and Chicago, once again initiates the desire for speculations and projections. As the fourteenth of its kind, this civic institution will not only function to house a collection of artifacts and documents relating to the president’s life but will also provide an educational infrastructure and framework for outreach and community programs. Thus, in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), this year’s Chicago Prize Competition is calling for speculative proposals for the Barack Obama Presidential Library to initiate a debate in order to rethink and redefine this particular building typology.

Entries are due by noon, January 10, 2015. You can find more information at Chicago Architectural Club.

Taxes go to operation of presidential libraries

In the nearly 60 years since the federal government became the official caretaker of former U.S. presidents' historical documents, presidential libraries have engaged in a delicate dance to keep the private foundations that build them and the taxpayers who keep them running from stepping on each other's toes.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-presidential-libraries-funding-met-20140808-story.html

A Philandering President's Love Letters To Go on Display

From the New York Times a preview of the collection of love letters between President Warren G. Harding and his mistress, Carrie Fulton Phillips. The letters are going on display next week at the Library of Congress.

A Presidential Contest For Obama's Library

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/07/328555220/a-presidential-contest-for-obamas-library

There are 13 in the United States run by the National Archives, and when President Obama leaves office, the construction of the 14th library won't be far behind.

A created to fund and build the Obama presidential library is already beginning to mull proposals from contenders who'd like to be home to the facility.

Think of this fight over a presidential library like a boxing match with contenders in three corners of the ring — all looking to win the big prize and all claiming a connection to Obama.

Three Cities Face Off for President Obama's Library

From the Guardian:

There is sometimes a wistful note in Barack Obama's voice when he speaks in public these days. The US president makes regular references to his "remaining time in office" and notes that there are just two and a half years to finish the work that will define his legacy. That legacy will find a physical home in his presidential library, the museum-archives America's leaders build after leaving office to stand as a testament to their time as the world's most powerful man.

Mr Obama's library is still years from completion but every step in its planning process serves as another reminder that his presidency is reaching the beginning of its end. Monday is the deadline for cities to submit their proposals to be a host site for what will one day be known as the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

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