Obama Marks Major Milestone at Jackson Park Center, Honors Workers’ Contributions

On Monday, former President Barack Obama visited the Jackson Park site of his namesake center to mark a significant milestone of the project and thank the workers. 

“The sacrifices you have all made, I could not be more grateful,” Obama said.

Obama greeted the workers, who number in the thousands since the project began in 2016.

The center’s tallest structure, the tower, has reached its full height of eight floors. The building is now enclosed, and to commemorate this milestone, everyone who contributed signed a beam that will be placed at the top.

The 44th President of the United States also added his own John Hancock to the beam as well. 

Despite concerns about park land use and the potential for local Chicagoans to be priced out of the neighborhood, the project has progressed with a design to enhance landscaping and amenities. 

The Obamas have also committed to hiring locally, focusing on bringing more Black and Brown tradespeople into the workforce.

“You’ve got young people learning, having opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s not just because of me. That’s because of you,” Obama said.

Obama is expected to return to the project site for future milestones. The home court multi-purpose space is set to open late next year, and the entire center is scheduled to open in spring 2026.

ABC 7 Chicago contributed to this report. 

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