Obama Presidential Center

Region

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Ross & Baruzzini is providing security consulting and engineering services for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC). The OPC is to be constructed on the grounds of the historic Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago. The facility will consist of 4 buildings, including a 235-foot tall museum tower, a two-story space that will house Barack Obama Foundation “the Foundation” offices, a recording studio, event space, and food services, and a branch of the Chicago Public Library. The buildings will be surrounded by open park space, consisting of 19-acres that will be renovated, replanted, and reimagined as multi-use spaces to serve the local community.

Working with the Foundation, United States Secret Service, and the design team, we developed the security criteria for the site, buildings, and associated infrastructure. While the museum will be the first Presidential Library not run by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the team interpreted and applied stringent NARA requirements to ensure the facility will remain a cultural steward of the Obama Presidency and associated artifacts for decades to come. Subsequent to the development of the security criteria, we designed the physical and electronic security systems used to protect the site, including vehicle interdiction, video surveillance, access control, alarm monitoring, and on-site command and control facilities. We also worked with the balance of the design team to implement criteria intended to enhance the resiliency and survivability of architectural and mechanical building systems.

Upon completion, the OPC will become a world-class museum and community gathering space that honors and celebrates our first African American President. The OPC is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors per year to Chicago’s South Side, helping serve as a hub for both civic education and economic growth.

Photo courtesy of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and The Obama Foundation.

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