The U.S. Supreme Court declined Friday to stop work at the site of the proposed Obama presidential center in Chicago.
A group that has long opposed construction on the site of a historic Chicago park asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block construction work, which began August 16. The opponents filed an emergency motion directed to Amy Coney Barrett, the justice assigned to that part of the country.
She denied the motion on Friday without comment.
Local residents and a non-profit group called Protect Our Parks said the federal government failed to perform required environmental reviews, given the location of the center in Jackson Park on the city's South Side. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was designed in 1871 by prominent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also planned New York's Central Park and helped lay out the U.S. Capitol grounds.
The group said construction would "demolish significant parts of Jackson Park, its historical resources, parkland, and trees, which will, in turn, adversely affect the human environment, the historic landscape, wildlife, and migratory birds.”
A federal judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit both declined to stop construction.
Obama tweeted enthusiastically about the project in February. "I'm proud to announce that the Obama Presidential Center will officially break ground in 2021. Our hope is that the center will breathe new life into historic Jackson Park while delivering jobs, growth, and much more to the South Side."
The group said Friday was disappointed that the Supreme Court denied its motion. “We still believe that preserving the status quo is fundamental to preventing irreparable harm in Jackson Park. Nonetheless, our core arguments seek to protect the long-term environmental and historical resources in Jackson Park, and we look forward to presenting our evidence and these arguments in the appellate and district court in the coming weeks.”