Barack Obama has announced a massive and lavish library in Chicago, that he will be charging taxpayers to build. It will commemorate his own presidency. The total cost will be a staggering $1.5 billion.
Most other presidents also construct presidential libraries when they complete their final term, but the cost of Obama’s is much greater that the cost of any previously built presidential library.
The husband-wife architectural team of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien will be designing the library and accompanying museum. The museum will tell the stories of both Barack and Michelle.
The $1.5 billion is triple the amount raised to construct the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas. That Center, which opened in April, 2013 and is located near Dallas, also includes a library and museum.
As is so often the case, the $200 million original estimate of construction has been revised up, way up. Williams and Tsien report that the cost of the buildings themselves is now expected to be in the neighborhood of $300 million.
Part of the reason for the astronomical endowment requirement is due to new federal regulations that require former presidents to have greater cash endowments to cover the annual operating costs of presidential libraries.
One and a half billion is a pretty tall mountain to climb, and Obama raised little funds for the project while president. NBC 5 in Chicago reports that the former president is preparing to launch a massive fundraising drive, and last week met with members of the Obama Foundation and community leaders to strategize.
It should come as no surprise that the Obamas presidential library and museum will carry such an astronomical price tag, as the compound will need to be as grandiose as their combined ego and narcissism.
What, did you think Barack and Michelle would become more humble once they left the White House?
What do you think of the cost of Barack Obama’s Presidential library and museum? Share your opinions in the Comments section.