Sunday, October 5, 2008

U.S. Embassy in London for Sale

The State Department has announced that the U.S. Embassy in London will be moving to a new site in a few years, leaving it's prime downtown location in Grosvenor Square for a property to be purchased in a former industrial area on the outskirts of the city near the landmark Battersea power station. Here are stories by the Washington Post and the UK Times.

Incidentally, the Battersea power station is a famous coal-fired power plant built in the 1930s, the first in a series that created a national power grid, and it has been a protected historic site since it went out of service in the 1980s. You've probably seen its distinctive four-chimney main building, or its art deco interior, since it has been used as the setting for many television programs set in London, two classic rock album covers (The Who and Pink Floyd both used it) and dozens of movies from 1936's Sabotage to this year's Batman: the Dark Knight.

The current embassy property is so extraordinarily valuable that the proceeds of its sale will pay for the construction of the new embassy. The total price tag for this land deal will most likely exceed the $700 million spent on the new Baghdad embassy complex, thus setting a new record for Most Expensive New Embassy Ever.

No comments: