Obama Foundation Lands Team Behind The 606 & Maggie Daley Park For Landscape Plan

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 30, 2017 8:46PM

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Obama Foundation Officials And Mayor Emanuel Discuss Obama Presidential Center Site Of Jackson Park / Getty Images / Photo: Joshua Lott

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the landscape architecture firm responsible for some of Chicago’s most notable recent projects, will lead the landscape design for the Obama Foundation in Jackson Park.

MVVA’s past Chicago projects include The 606, Maggie Daley Park and the Chicago Botanic Garden’s hidden gem Spider Island. (Perhaps its most famous project overall is Brooklyn Bridge Park.) The New York City-based firm will lead a team that also includes two Chicago-based hands: Living Habitats, which has worked in the past with the Chicago Park District, and Site Design Group, a sustainability-focused firm.

The landscape design will respect that of Jackson Park’s original design, Michael Van Valkenburgh, President and CEO of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associate, said. “…[W]e are committed to creating an OPC [Obama Presidential Center]that honors the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted and at the same time is accessible, inspirational and joyful,” said Van Valkenburgh in a press release, referencing the parks’s famous landscape architect.

MVVA will work alongside the Foundation’s previously announced architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, best known in these parts for the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.

On the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Barack and Michelle Obama called on the public to send in ideas and hopes for the Obama Foundation, which it described as “a living, working startup for citizenship."