Obama center plan approved by Chicago City Council

CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council has given its backing to construction of the Obama Presidential Center in a park on the city's South Side.

Loud applause came from council members after they voted 47-1 in favor of the $500 million project Wednesday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was going to call former President Barack Obama with the news and left the council chamber.

The project remains under federal review because the site, Jackson Park, is on the National Register of Historic Places. However, City Council is a major step forward.

Last week, the Chicago Plan Commission approved the proposal to build on the site selected by former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama. The council's zoning committee did the same on Tuesday.

The proposal has won widespread support in Chicago, but it has also been met with resistance from critics who oppose putting the center into a historic and popular park.