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President Obama Probably Won't Be Moving Back To Chicago

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Aug 21, 2015 5:19PM

(The President and First Lady announce the location of the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Library./ Photo: Youtube screengrab)

As much pride there is in being the president's hometown, it unfortunately may be time for Chicago to let this one go. The Obamas have spent relatively little time in Chicago during President Barack Obama's two terms, and it's looking less and less likely that they'll make their primary home here once his term ends.

Chicago recently beat out New York City and Hawaii for the site of the future Barack Obama Presidential Library, but that coup doesn't seem to extend to the Obama family's personal travels.

The Obamas have made such destinations as Martha's Vineyard, New York City and Coachella Valley, California, their homes away from the White House in recent years, leaving many to speculate that they are leaving their tony Kenwood home behind.

The Washington Post speculates in a new column this week that the Obamas will keep their Kenwood address, not far from the local bakeries and bookstores that still boast of being the Obamas' local haunts, but will make their future home on the East Coast—most likely by remaining in D.C. at first, and then resettling in New York.

But that isn't stopping Chicago from wishing for more from the man who made a name for himself as a community organizer in the '80s and the woman who grew up on the South Side and still travels back to speak to Chicago Public School students.

Timuel Black, a 96-year-old historian and Hyde Park resident, told the Post that he holds out hope for the Obamas' return:

"The history of the Obamas in Hyde Park is a permanent kind of thing, and a reminder that in this South Side community there were always opportunities for aspiring young people as the Obamas were and enough support to encourage them," Black said. "When [the Obamas] come home to visit, they'll come here."

The Georgetown University history and African American Studies professor Marcia Chatelain gave the Post a similar outlook:

"Barack Obama's embrace of Chicago and Michelle Obama's pride in the South Side of Chicago has planted them firmly in the city's history and their legacy will continue for generations. I think they provided an education to the nation about the richness of the South Side of Chicago, despite its many challenges, and they also shed light on a black, upwardly mobile population that is invisible to many Americans, but has long shaped the city. No matter where their mailing address is, they will have a global impact and the very best of what they have to offer is rooted in Chicago."