University of Chicago
Eliminate the finalist locations in New York—why’s it even on the list?—and Hawaii—who would hang out in a library when the beach is right there?—leaving two spots in Chicago. The egalitarian argument for UIC, as a public school versus the elite UChicago is compelling but, if that was the driving factor, Chicago State University should not have been eliminated. For above all else, this thing belongs on the South Side, where the Obamas live and work (when not doing, you know, that presidency thing), where Michelle grew up, and where the need for economic development and a locus of African-American pride is most imperative.
Audience Choice: University of Chicago
Best of Chicago 2014