US Embassy Gets Listed Status

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 109 months ago
US Embassy Gets Listed Status

Image by JDinBawlmer
In a decision welcomed by English Heritage and the 20th Century Society, the United States embassy building has been awarded Grade II listed status.

The gargantuan Grosvenor Square edifice, which the Yanks are planning to vacate for new premises south of the river, was designed by the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen (best known for the St Louis Arch and the old TWA terminal at JFK airport) and completed in 1960, and since then has been the focus for both high and low points in Anglo attitudes towards America: if it could speak, that gilded aluminum eagle perched atop the building would squawk of Vietnam protests, outporouings of grief post-9/11, and increasingly paranoid security precautions.

Once the 750 staff have moved on to Nine Elms, we'll be left with an imposing, though not unattractive, nine-story building in a prime location with ample underground space and more security than your average paranoid Russian dissident could ever dream of. Early word is that the building will be turned into a hotel, but that sounds boring: surely there are more creative ways the embassy could be repurposed while not pissing off the locals?

Last Updated 22 October 2009