CHICAGO—Construction on the Obama Presidential Center has been temporarily halted after a noose was found on the building site on November 10. The Chicago Police Department told ABC News that they were notified at 4 p.m. of a noose hanging in the stairwell at the construction site and are currently investigating.

The $830 million project was set to be completed by 2025 and offer an enriching experience to residents of Chicago. It includes a library, museum, park and activity center, walkway, garden and children’s park. The center is currently being built in Jackson Park.

The Obama Foundation wrote in a statement regarding the incident that it was “designed to get attention and divide us” and that their priorities are in protecting the health and safety of their workforce.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who recently won a second term, expressed his disdain on social media. “Hate has no place in Illinois,” he wrote on Facebook. “The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heart-stopping reminder of the violence and terror inflicted on Black Americans for centuries.”


Mayor Lori Lightfoot also condemned the incident in a statement to local news, stating that “racism and racist symbols have no place in Chicago”. She encouraged anyone with information on the incident to come forward.

Gov. Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot stood alongside former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama during the presidential center’s groundbreaking event in September 2021.

Lakeside Alliance is one of the site’s construction firms and is a venture made up of four Black-owned firms including Brown & Momen, Powers & Sons Construction, Safeway Construction and UJAMAA Construction.

Lakeside Alliance is offering a $100,000 reward for information on the perpetrator who hung the noose. —Tariqah Muhammad, Staff Writer