CHICAGO (AP) — An indoor garden at the Obama Presidential Center will named after a 15-year-old Chicago teenager who died in the city’s street violence in 2013.

The Obamas broke ground on the legacy project in September.[1] It'll include a museum, public library branch, and athletic center. An indoor public gathering space “full of freshness and light” will be named the Hadiya Pendleton Winter Garden, according to former first lady Michelle Obama.

The teen, an honor student, was killed in 2013 days after returning from performing with her majorette squad during former President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.[2]

In a video announcement, former first lady Michelle Obama said she never met Hadiya, but she did get to know her friends and family.

“I immediately understood the extraordinary power and potential that lay inside of this young woman, a potential that was stolen from us by the tragedy of gun violence,” Obama said in the video.

Obama Foundation officials hope the space will capture the teen’s spirit and serve “as a beacon to everyone of the potential that exists in our youth."

Work on the Obama Presidential Center is expected to take about five years. Organizers estimate about 750,000 visitors will come each year.

Subscribe to the Chicago Journal

The Chicago Journal needs your support.

At just $20/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing and remain free from influence.


Notes & References

  1. Press, Associated. “Groundbreaking for Obama Presidential Center Set for Tuesday.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, September 24, 2021. ↩︎

  2. Babwin, Don. “Second Man Convicted in Killing of Chicago Honor Student.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, August 24, 2018. ↩︎