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Foundation unveils vision for future Obama library

By Josh Lederman

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:31 p.m. HST, Mar 20, 2014

WASHINGTON >> Want your city, university or nonprofit group to be chosen to host President Barack Obama's presidential library? Now's the time to get started.

The foundation that will develop and choose the site for Obama's future library asked interested parties Thursday to submit their initial proposals. The "request for qualifications" offers the most detailed look to date at what the president and first lady Michelle Obama are seeking for what will be the permanent monument to their White House legacy.

Illinois, New York and Hawaii are all expected to compete for Obama's library, which is anticipated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, attract a flurry of visitors and drive economic development in the surrounding community. Chicago and Honolulu have been working on their own proposals for years.

Those and other communities will have until June 16 to submit details about their proposed sites, including current zoning rules, topographical surveys, tourism statistics and information about accessibility to transportation. Over the summer, the Barack Obama Foundation will score those proposals, then cull the list and invite selected groups to submit more formal, detailed applications.

Once the final applications are scored, the foundation will make primary and secondary location recommendations to the project's leadership before making a presentation to the president and Mrs. Obama in the fall. The Obamas will make the final decision, and the foundation plans to announce the winner in the first months of 2015.

"We're completely open-minded about what we might get back," Marty Nesbitt, the Chicago businessman and longtime Obama friend who chairs the foundation, said in an interview. "We haven't ruled in anything or ruled out anything."

Specifics about what the future library will entail were detailed in a 70-page "request for qualifications" released by the foundation on Thursday and sent by Nesbitt to groups that have already indicated their interest. The foundation said the space the National Archives and Records Administration projects will be required to accommodate Obama's records includes:

--More than 20,000 cubic feet of unclassified documents, or about one-quarter of an Olympic-size swimming pool.

--Another 5,676 cubic feet of classified documents, and 804 cubic feet of audio-visual records.

--Fifteen thousand cubic feet for Obama's artifacts, or about the same amount of space as the Oval Office takes up.

That represents a decline from previous presidential libraries, which NARA attributes to the move toward using emails and electronic records in lieu of hardcopies of the past.

Obama's future library should be a versatile, community-enhancing institution as well as a "new international destination," the foundation said. The facility and its programming should embody the principles that Obama has promoted during his presidency and his campaign, it says.

Among those principles: empowerment, inclusivity and expanded economic opportunity. Inspiring the "ethic of citizenship" and promoting peace and justice throughout the world are also high priorities, the group said.

Much more than a repository for documents, most presidential libraries include educational programming, retail and dining space, a museum facility with permanent and rotating exhibits, and versatile space that the community can use, the foundation noted.

In a nod to aesthetics and design, the foundation said a core principle would be for the library to embody "principles of biomimicry to create a living building." Biomimicry draws on inspiration from nature -- plants and animals -- to make man-made structures more efficient and natural.

Presidential libraries often have an accompanying presidential center as a vehicle for ex-presidents to promote policies and coordinate humanitarian efforts after leaving office. Some groups already vying for Obama's library have proposed that he build a center or institute in one location and the library in another.

Planning to submit a proposal? You'll need to send four hard copies in bound, 8.5-inch by 11-inch books, to Bob Bauer, Obama's former White House counsel and top lawyer for his presidential campaign. Bauer is now serving as general counsel for the foundation.

Initially formed as the Barack H. Obama Foundation, the nonprofit recently changed its name to remove Obama's middle initial, which stands for Hussein. Nesbitt said the foundation wanted to eliminate the potential for confusion with other similarly named foundations.



AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this report.

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frontman wrote:
Chicago is obamas home town, kenya is his birth place. His grandmother did live in Hawaii and obama spent time and a couple of years of high school in Hawaii.
on March 20,2014 | 12:20PM
jkjones wrote:
on March 20,2014 | 12:29PM
hanalei395 wrote:
LOL ....... AND stupid.
on March 20,2014 | 03:55PM
false wrote:
That's about sums it up.
on March 20,2014 | 12:30PM
ISCREAM wrote:
Perhaps Waimanalo Gulch land fill is a suitable site for his library...
on March 20,2014 | 08:10PM
scooters wrote:
Now that's a great place ...
on March 20,2014 | 09:17PM
Grimbold wrote:
No matter where, presidential libraries are a gigantic waste of time and money.
on March 21,2014 | 04:15AM
serious wrote:
Please, not in Hawaii. Carter might have been the worst President, but Obama takes the prize. He only has two faults, foreign and domestic.
on March 20,2014 | 12:35PM
toad103410 wrote:
Agree completely serious. his domestic policy is failing and his foreign policy is non existent. Putin disdains and dismisses Obama's countless meaningless threats and warnings. After all is said and done Hawaii will be made a laughing stock if his library is built here. Let Chicago take that honor.
on March 20,2014 | 01:43PM
NITRO08 wrote:
So what you wanted him to do bomb Russia?
on March 20,2014 | 02:16PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Bush would.
on March 20,2014 | 02:25PM
kekelaward wrote:
He hasn't been President for five years. It's all on 0bama.now
on March 20,2014 | 05:01PM
Mythman wrote:
Right bomb Russia - Hitler did just than and look what he got for his troubles.
on March 20,2014 | 05:53PM
ISCREAM wrote:
No...Russia would not have taken over Crimea if Bush was President...you see it is all in the setup. Obama is nothing but a paper tiger and Putin knows it.
on March 20,2014 | 08:12PM
juke wrote:
never come back to hawaii
on March 20,2014 | 04:22PM
scooters wrote:
He only comes back in December at our expense...
on March 20,2014 | 09:18PM
kekelaward wrote:
No. But something other than filling out basketball brackets.

PS Why are you asking us? His administration is supposed to be filled with smart power people...amazing that everything they come up with doesn't work.

on March 20,2014 | 05:00PM
Ronin006 wrote:
No, bomb Syria like he said he would do if Syria crossed his red line by using chemical weapons against the rebels. Well, Syria crossed it and Obama simply took his red line and went home. His word is worthless.
on March 20,2014 | 06:09PM
thanks4reading wrote:
Obama's mistake was asking the republican control congress for permission to bomb. He forgot that Republicans love their party but hate their country enough not to support him. First time in u.s. history.
on March 20,2014 | 06:15PM
Paulh808 wrote:
Nice try, but you guys own this failure!
on March 20,2014 | 07:26PM
kekelaward wrote:
That just about sums up his administration...following the constitution is considered a mistake.
on March 20,2014 | 07:42PM
ISCREAM wrote:
You must be another progressive...LOL.
on March 20,2014 | 08:13PM
ISCREAM wrote:
No...just draw a line in the sand...
on March 20,2014 | 08:10PM
Mythman wrote:
OK, Ok, maybe he was a lousy president for the reason he grew up in Hawaii and we raise softies and lefties. But we need the library to help us with tourism. come on now.
on March 20,2014 | 05:52PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Get real. Anyone who believes people from all over America and the world will flock to Hawaii to visit an Obama library is dreaming. It no doubt would provide visitors one more site to visit while here, but it is highly unlikely that the library would do much, if anything, to bring in more tourists.
on March 20,2014 | 06:22PM
NITRO08 wrote:
No the worst was President Bush two wars that they lied about. And lowering taxes for the rich, you need to wake up.
on March 20,2014 | 02:14PM
jayz43 wrote:
So were BO's grandparents Communists? What about George Marshal, his mentor?
on March 20,2014 | 03:27PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
No they weren't! I may not like Obama or his antics w the EWC. But did like his grandmother and grandfather!
on March 21,2014 | 03:30PM
pandadaddy wrote:
You must be racist.
on March 20,2014 | 06:30PM
scooters wrote:
No "he" is..
on March 20,2014 | 09:21PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Agree about Carter! He unleashed Islamic fundamentalism on us! The Shah is probably laughing from wherever he is
on March 21,2014 | 03:28PM
pgkemp wrote:
serious, dats funny.........
on March 20,2014 | 12:43PM
DAGR81 wrote:
We can not afford the fraud and waste that will be part of this tribute to a failed presidency.
on March 20,2014 | 01:04PM
bobstr wrote:
the only real book that will be in that library will be politics for dummy's......
on March 20,2014 | 01:07PM
headcheese wrote:
Either a library or presidential center would be good in Honolulu as this is where Barry got his base-- where he grew up and learned about pono.
on March 20,2014 | 01:35PM
false wrote:
A garbage dump in his honor would be fitting.
on March 20,2014 | 02:13PM
Waterman2 wrote:
Yup....he has done enough damage to us, throw him and all the other trash away. Start new with term limits and tight lobbying/payoff rules at all levels. Obammy is the epitome of our wrecked system.
on March 20,2014 | 04:17PM
ISCREAM wrote:
Or a post office...they are bankrupt too...LOL
on March 20,2014 | 08:14PM
Venus1 wrote:
Next door to you?
on March 22,2014 | 07:02AM
kekelaward wrote:
Who'd he learn about Pono from? Conklin?
on March 20,2014 | 05:02PM
Mythman wrote:
Isn't Conk on the committee?
on March 20,2014 | 05:54PM
kekelaward wrote:
Some how, that makes perfect sense. Who better to help with that Hawaiian "Sense of place" thing I always hear about.
on March 20,2014 | 07:48PM
scooters wrote:
Learned about Pono and Drugs..light'em up Barry
on March 20,2014 | 09:21PM
Venus1 wrote:
Hate drips from you !
on March 22,2014 | 07:01AM
Venus1 wrote:
on March 22,2014 | 07:02AM
fstop wrote:
"Initially formed as the Barack H. Obama Foundation, the nonprofit recently changed its name to remove Obama's middle initial, which stands for Hussein. Nesbitt said the foundation wanted to eliminate the potential for confusion with other similarly named foundations."

So, according to Nesbitt, removing the middle initial makes it LESS likely to be confused with other foundations? According to this reasoning, calling it just the Obama Foundation would result in even less confusion. I think we all know why they want to remove the "H".

on March 20,2014 | 02:12PM
jayz43 wrote:
How do you remove the "L" from his forehead? "Lie of the Year" 2013 and probably another one this year.
on March 20,2014 | 03:58PM
kekelaward wrote:
They're afraid that his low information sycophants will accidentally give money to the President Saddam Hussein library instead.
on March 20,2014 | 05:07PM
konag43 wrote:
we don't want the library in hawaii we don't have the money to build it. why are we speading our tax dollars to build a library that we don't need. and there is enough proof that obama was born in hawaii so stop the nonsense
on March 20,2014 | 03:10PM
Venus1 wrote:
You do not speak for me!!!
on March 22,2014 | 07:00AM
NYUH wrote:
East West Center, UH and the Ariyoshi revolution are the foundations for Obama who helped steer the country away from financial disaster and scaled down two useless wars.
on March 20,2014 | 03:46PM
jayz43 wrote:
You fit right in with the Obama sycophants.What a joke...
on March 20,2014 | 04:00PM
juke wrote:
jayz43 your his kid he dont he know about.
on March 20,2014 | 04:24PM
Venus1 wrote:
You are correct!!
on March 22,2014 | 07:00AM
First-Responder wrote:
Why on earth would we want Obama's library here? He doesn't live here, he hasn't done anything for Hawaii, and except for a vacations, we never see him. The sooner we shake his weak link to Hawaii the better.
on March 20,2014 | 04:57PM
First-Responder wrote:
We should offer Putin an opportunity to have his library here!
on March 20,2014 | 04:58PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Don't waste a dime of taxpayer money on a Hawaii bid. Barry has made strong suggestions that it will be Chicago. Go Bears!
on March 20,2014 | 05:08PM
kekelaward wrote:
Heh. They didn't need Hester, cause Cutler is going to score all the points they need.
on March 20,2014 | 07:52PM
kekelaward wrote:
If they do decide to build this revenue loser here, will Hawaii taxpayers be on the hook for the costs of his family's quarterly 5 star vacations?
on March 20,2014 | 05:13PM
Mythman wrote:
Wow! The Biomimicry issue opens the door to Hawaii as our nature is omnipresent as benign. I'm sure they don't mean mimic snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain and a sub zero wind chill?
on March 20,2014 | 05:51PM
HD36 wrote:
Dear Bob, here is my proposal to incorporate biometrics into the Barack H. Obama foundation: Build a couple picnic tables and offer a free wi-fi spot.
on March 20,2014 | 05:57PM
kekelaward wrote:
That sounds like the rail! Except for the tables and wi-fi.
on March 20,2014 | 07:56PM
marine38 wrote:
How about an Obama memorial basketball court on the site of the natatorium with an adjoining Baskin-Robbins signifying the only job he ever really held IF successfully (would like to get some independent verification from someone who perhaps shared a scoop with him then). Would be more representative of his presidency and a heck of a lot cheaper than a library.
on March 20,2014 | 06:14PM
sailfish1 wrote:
They should not waste time and money for this. It will NEVER be built in Hawaii.
on March 20,2014 | 06:19PM
scooters wrote:
The 'Vision" is in Chicago or how about Kenya. But not here...
on March 20,2014 | 09:17PM
scooters wrote:
Hard to support someone without the "smarts" to run our country..
on March 20,2014 | 09:20PM
Venus1 wrote:
Bet you will not take an intelligence test!!!!!!
on March 22,2014 | 06:59AM
NYUH wrote:
Really? At least people have a place to vomit their hate. No matter how misguided.
on March 20,2014 | 09:51PM
CEI wrote:
How about Havana? Little Barry would fit right in in that "workers paradise"
on March 21,2014 | 12:56AM
videofun wrote:
Would the Kakaako site proposed for the Obama Presidential Library be in the flood zone? Would irreplaceable documents be at risk with a tsunami event? This fear of catastrophic loss first arose in my mind when the John A. Burns School of Medicine was built.
on March 21,2014 | 02:50AM
Venus1 wrote:
Forget Aloha on this board! Not sure Hawaii deserves Obama Library! I love my president!
on March 22,2014 | 06:57AM
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