The US Embassy in Grosvenor Square has been granted Grade II status after a recommendation by English Heritage on the basis that the building has “special interest in a national context”.
The Embassy, designed by Finnish-American architect, was the first modern and purpose-built embassy in Britain with architectural opinion divided on its merits ever since its construction.
A statement on the English Heritage website says the body “are aware that arguments have been put forward both for and against listing the Embassy and we have considered these very carefully. However, measured against the strict criteria for listing post war buildings, the recommendation to list the Embassy is fully justified.”
“Both English Heritage and Westminster City Council have vast experience of working with the owners of listed buildings with specific requirements, like embassies, and we will continue to help and advise the American Embassy on their needs. We are confident that the building is capable of viable re-use in the future and we would work closely with any future owner on how a successful adaptation could be achieved.”
The current Embassy building is to be vacated on completion of a new ‘super embassy’ in Battersea. Property experts say the listing will reduce the building’s value to potential buyers, forcing the US to reduce the expected asking price of £500m. The Embassy currently owes Londoners in excess of £3m in unpaid congestion charge fees and penalties.