12:59 PM, May 2, 2022
Photo by Martin Suker on Unsplash
Going to visit the US embassy in Grosvenor square London was quite something. It was this big 1960s structure in the middle of Mayfair. That's the most expensive area on the London monopoly set. It had this sort of Sean Connery, James Bond 60s vibe to it, like something from Goldfinger.
It was crowned with this massive gold eagle and it signified the link the 2 countries had, especially in the period after WW2 and during the Cold War.
I expect all kinds of crazy schemes were discussed in there. The Cuban missile crisis, nuclear threats, defections and double agents.
It had a big bronze statue of Eisenhower was outside in military clothing. It had the usual security fences around it, but it was such a large building in the most expensive area of London it projected the status of the country.
It has an enduring sense of elegance. Like Jackie Kennedy, a sense of real beauty.
But they moved it to what could reasonably be termed a riverside business area and they built a pretty ordinary glass box type thing. The sense of underwhelming is massive in comparison. I mean there is a supermarket across the road.
You can pick up some toothpaste while you are going to see the US ambassador.
I remember Trump going mad about it, and for all his faults he is a real estate guy and he was right to complain. The US embassy with our biggest ally looks more like a Pepsi Co regional office now.
Maybe it was Obama's way of putting the UK down. Whatever the reason it's just so sad to see it replaced with ordinary, like we now just accept less.
The old embassy has been stripped down, the facade has been demolished and it is turning into a hotel owned by offshore firms. Heart-breaking in a way.