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London: Stunning New American Embassy

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Dec 15th, 2017, 07:19 AM
  #1
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London: Stunning New American Embassy

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.810084bc5b56

The new American Embassy in London is ready to open and by all accounts is a stunning work of architecture. At $1billion the most expensive embassy ever built anywhere - to me looks kind of like a new Tower of London.

Meanwhile old Embassy on Grosvenor Square is being sold and turned into a fancy hotel in a tony neighborhood.

Wonder what our British Fodorites think of it?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 07:28 AM
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"The U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Robert “Woody” Johnson"

I wouldn't want to be known as "woody" these days. I like the idea of a moat around the building. If they did that in Ottawa, rather than surrounding the building with cement pillars, they would flood our national tax agency.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 07:51 AM
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Well...

I think it’s less ugly than the old one. “Gem” is not the word I’d use. What’s impressive is that the US apparently owned enough property to pay that bill.

Usually the comments section is here be dragons, but there’s a fun argument about what the pond might be stocked with. Theories include:

A) red, white, blue piranhas
B) Alabama gator
C) catfish


I feel that they’ve missed the obvious- clearly a better choice would be swans clothed in bedazzled Ivanka Trump designed bullet proof vests.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 08:30 AM
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And just think our President is not welcome in the UK. Maybe Obama is free to go to the opening.

Woody Johnson is a billionaire descendant of the Johnson & Johnson consumer product family. He also owns the New York Jets, football team. He had been a big donor to Republican candidates for decades.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 08:45 AM
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Usually the comments section is here be dragons, but there’s a fun argument about what the pond might be stocked with.>

Drain the swamp!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 09:46 AM
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Borg Cube.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 09:52 AM
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Chances are that Trump will come on an official rather than state visit. I'd imagine he'll spend most of his time in the new embassy - it'll give them a chance to test its security. Maybe tea and a bun at No.10 or (just about) the Palace, but no state dinner or Westminster Hall speeches (all that's a relatively recent invention - I blame Thatcher).
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Dec 15th, 2017, 10:13 AM
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It looks like a nicer place to work* than the old embassy, where I put in some time. Location not terribly convenient. A whole lot more secure, I'm sure.

Aesthetically, not my cup of tea.

The old one was described as embodying "an almost Roman projection of power." The new one certainly doesn't. Probably for the better.

The So-called President may stay at Winfield House, or possibly one of the larger hotels (where his enormous entourage will shack up).

*Our bar was in the basement!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 11:01 AM
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Certainly the old one was sooooo ugly anything is an improvement, this appears to be a cube, well done.

Sarcasm off, looks fine, lots of "glass" lots of openness, going to struggle with the image of the administration we all have.

Woody was on the radio yesterday trying to talk up the visit from the nut job (I'm holding back here) the guy was trying to sell a box of matches to a person covered in petrol.

Being south of the river might be interesting, most well defended places are north of the river. Still the moat will help.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 06:50 PM
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The current embassy is beyond ugly - can’t imagine wanting to stay in it as an hotel. They should destroy and start again. At least the baracades can be removed.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 11:49 PM
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"They should destroy and start again."

Good luck with that! It's a Grade II listed building. Even the eagle will have to stay.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 01:12 AM
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I wonder how many Muslims were involved in the building of the thing, DT should worry....
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Dec 16th, 2017, 01:39 AM
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One of the primary concerns of any embassy is to protect against, not only physical harm, but all manner of modern surveillance devices. Who knows what material were used in the construction.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 02:20 AM
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Are there any other embassies south of the river? Easier for MI5 to keep an eye on all the US spooks.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 04:08 AM
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The Dutch embassy is also moving to Nine Elms. The old embassy is a prime piece of real estate, just south of Hyde Park. Will be converted into expensive flats.
I think more embassies will be moving out of their prime locations to a cheaper area. I wonder how many will be left on Kensington Palace Gardens in the future, leaving the buildings in that street to Russian and Arab moguls and Tamara Ecclestone.

I suppose it makes economic sense. The Dutch have also closed many smaller consulates.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 05:57 AM
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I wonder how the old embassy was sold. The land it was on is owned by the Duke of Westminster. The rent was one peppercorn or coffee bean or some such a year. (One of the ambassadors, learning that the rent was in arrears, had a silver box made, into which he put the necessary number of beans, and presented it to the Duke over lunch.) I suppose the US owned the building itself, but I wonder what the rent will be for the new leaseholder.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 06:11 AM
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>>I wonder how the old embassy was sold. The land it was on is owned by the Duke of Westminster.<<

I think we may assume the Grosvenor Estate will not have lost out. Their leases have a record of optimising their interests on surrender:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...orough#history
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Dec 16th, 2017, 06:12 AM
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Depends on how many years there are still left on the lease. Extending the lease will be expensive. The ground rent will probably remain the same; peppercorn ie nothing.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 06:25 AM
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Cant wait to see what the one in Jerusalem will look like.
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id522010456
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Dec 16th, 2017, 07:33 AM
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>>>I think we may assume the Grosvenor Estate will not have lost out.<<<

Thank goodness! Nothing worse than a busted dukedom.
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