NYC to (kind of) support Columbia’s bid for a Manhattanville Presidential Library
Since January, Columbia has been advocating to build Obama’s presidential library and museum in New York City. The library would be on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus, between 125th and 132nd and Broadway and the Riverside Drive.
This may actually be a real thing, because the De Blasio administration is working toward supporting this motion. A De Blasio aide told the Chicago Sun-Times that she will “confirm that the city will issue a letter of support for Columbia’s bid and will continue to offer support to them as their proposal moves forward.”
Public support is not that fortified, however. A spokesperson from the office of Charlie Rangel (D), Manhattanville’s congressional representative, said they will “provide any support we can to Columbia’s efforts.” Not a very strong statement.
Basically, this library would be more like a museum, presenting to the public all the documents and things Obama has done for the past eight-odd years. While I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Columbia threw some carrells in there, it won’t really be the kind of place you study in.
Currently, Columbia competes with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. We are competing with the University of Chicago, who would put the library around Hyde Park High School. Illinois is the most popular contender for the library, with similar proposals from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago State, and the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago.
Most presidential libraries are built in a president’s home-town or a place particularly special to him—LBJ’s is in Austin, Texas, and former President Ronald Reagan’s is in California. So then that leaves us with the question of which location was the most important for the POTUS? Then again, it’s possible to have two presidential libraries.
Probably the most random fact you will read today, but Gerald Ford of all people has two libraries: one in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and another in Ann Arbor. While Obama is vastly different from Ford, maybe he’ll also have two libraries.
Corrections: An earlier version of this article identified Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel as Mayor of Hawaii, and referred to Bronzeville as a “seemingly random little town”. A previous version of this article also misquoted the spokesperson from Charlie Rangel’s office. Spectator regrets the errors.
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