Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Plans for $1bn US embassy in London include 30m moat to foil bombers
The Australian ^ | February 24, 2010 8:01AM | Catherine Philp

Posted on 02/23/2010 2:27:25 PM PST by Former Military Chick

THE UNITED States has unveiled plans for its new $1 billion high-security embassy in London - the most expensive it has ever built.

The proposals were met with relief from both the present embassy's Mayfair neighbours and the residents and developers of the Battersea wasteland where the vast crystalline cube, surrounded by a moat, will be built.

The decision to abandon the former site in Grosvenor Square by 2016 came after a prolonged battle with residents angered by the security measures demanded after the September 11 attacks. More than a hundred residents took out a full-page advertisement in The Times to oppose tighter measures that they said would leave the area more vulnerable to attack.

The new embassy, on a former industrial site behind Battersea power station known for its gay clubs, will be designed by Kieran Timberlake, the Philadelphia architects.

A moat 30m (100ft) wide and rolling parkland will separate the building from the main road, protecting it from would-be bombers and removing the need for the blast barriers that so dismayed the people of Mayfair.

The State Department sought to play down the cost of security measures, noting the expense of London building work. But the price puts the London embassy above the US's most fortified missions, including the Baghdad embassy, which cost $600 million but required a further $100 million of work on airconditioning, and the Islamabad embassy, still under construction, which has cost more than $850 million.

It also does not include the 17.5per cent VAT demanded by the Treasury on all buildings in Britain and which the US has refused to pay.

Louis Susman, the US Ambassador, said: "We intend to do what's appropriate and we are working with the Treasury on that."

He acknowleged past difficulties, pledging to be "a good neighbour in our new home" and said that the eco-friendly building would generate enough power to contribute to the national grid.

The new location will take the embassy out of the Central London congestion zone. US diplomats owe an estimated £32 million in congestion charges and fines, which they refuse to pay on the ground that they are exempt from taxes in Britain.

The unpaid dues led Ken Livingstone as mayor to call Robert Tuttle, the ambassador at the time, a "chiselling little crook".

This discontent was almost equalled when the embassy learnt in November that its Grosvenor Square premises were to be given a Grade II listing. Despite the development limits imposed by the decision, the embassy was still sold for more than $1 billion to a Qatari company that plans to turn it into a luxury hotel.

The embassy said that a statue of Ronald Reagan soon to be put up in Grosvenor Square will not be part of the Battersea site. "It will absolutely not be moved," an official said. "Nor will the Eisenhower."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: bhostatedept; bhouk; britain; embassy; soshillary; usembassy
Just a billion. Drop in the bucket, when we are talking about spending stateside. Of course they are selling the current embassy for a billion. Still, costs never seem to work out. BTW, how many American job's will it create? WOW.

At least they don't pay the 17% VAT.

Interesting night life to be sure.

Glad they wont move the 2 statues.

1 posted on 02/23/2010 2:27:25 PM PST by Former Military Chick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

Will they have to install minarets? It is Londonistan, after all.


2 posted on 02/23/2010 2:29:33 PM PST by manic4organic (Obama shot hoops, America lost troops.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

In this day and age, I see the necessity for embassies to be moot. They just domicile a wealthy donor to the POTUS so they can act like a figurehead in a foreign land.


3 posted on 02/23/2010 2:30:13 PM PST by Mengerian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

More than a hundred residents took out a full-page advertisement in The Times to oppose tighter measures that they said would leave the area more vulnerable to attack.
______________________________________________

WOW a reverse American Revolution...


4 posted on 02/23/2010 2:30:17 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

Muzzies will bomb it in the first year ;-)


5 posted on 02/23/2010 2:30:54 PM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINOS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick
Does it have a minaret?
6 posted on 02/23/2010 2:31:24 PM PST by Ben Mugged (Unions are the storm troopers of socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

How much is it going to cost us to employ the Frenchman dressed in medieval duds to “fart in our general direction”?


7 posted on 02/23/2010 2:31:49 PM PST by GraceG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick
... required a further $100 million of work on airconditioning ...

I would have gladly done the work on the air conditioning for only $90 million. Or even 80.

8 posted on 02/23/2010 2:33:16 PM PST by ConfusedAndLovingIt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick
It's a pity the Embassy must be moved. I love the location in the heart of London. It's very comforting for an American overseas to walk by and see the American eagle and flag.


9 posted on 02/23/2010 2:34:37 PM PST by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

Your comment is important, thank you. It seem’s the brit’s do NOT see it that way.

It seem’s the new location will be a far out of the way place.

Odd that our media hasn’t covered this story.


10 posted on 02/23/2010 2:38:49 PM PST by Former Military Chick (Please pray for our troops as they selflessly serve in harm's way say an extra one for my beloved!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

I want trebuchets on the roof of that thing.


11 posted on 02/23/2010 2:39:54 PM PST by RichInOC ("You know what ve gonna do nowwwww?...Unpimp ze embassy!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RichInOC

I demand a drawbridge!


12 posted on 02/23/2010 2:43:29 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Liberal Massachussetts says: "FUBO!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

I read in another news article that the Eagle and exterior facade will stay intact. The building was given “historic” status by London.


13 posted on 02/23/2010 3:14:30 PM PST by lack-of-trust
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Miltie; RichInOC

Boiling OIL


14 posted on 02/23/2010 3:15:06 PM PST by ASA Vet (Iran should have ceased to exist Nov 5, 1979, but we had no president then either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

Dang, we are back to castles and moats again.


15 posted on 02/23/2010 3:18:09 PM PST by Rebelbase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase

Oh goodness, I have a chest cold, and when I read your reply I couldn’t help but cough and cough as I laughed and laughed. Thank you. :)


16 posted on 02/23/2010 3:21:14 PM PST by Former Military Chick (Please pray for our troops as they selflessly serve in harm's way say an extra one for my beloved!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

I hope you feel better soon.


17 posted on 02/23/2010 3:22:10 PM PST by Rebelbase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

FMC,

actually quite a lot of American jobs. Lots of guys and gals with security clearances will head overseas to build it. So if you are a plumber, electrician or carpenter and looking ofr a little adventure, this could be it.

PS it will be at least 2 years before construction starts.


18 posted on 02/23/2010 3:22:26 PM PST by lack-of-trust
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lack-of-trust
Yes, the building has been given historical status, which was one of the problems because it made expansion almost impossible. Still, it won’t be the same seeing the eagle up there knowing the building is no longer American soil, but is full of luxury hotel customers. Oh well, times change.
19 posted on 02/23/2010 3:23:07 PM PST by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: lack-of-trust

thank you friend, I was quick to jump the gun, but I was wondering how the Obama administration was going to fit in.

We have not heard this reported anywhere, or I haven’t.

But, I didn’t consider the full range of what this will do, so thank you.


20 posted on 02/23/2010 3:32:35 PM PST by Former Military Chick (Please pray for our troops as they selflessly serve in harm's way say an extra one for my beloved!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...
The proposals were met with relief from both the present embassy's Mayfair neighbours and the residents and developers of the Battersea wasteland where the vast crystalline cube, surrounded by a moat, will be built.
This will come in handy when the Muzzies start burning down the UK. Thanks Former Military Chick.
21 posted on 02/23/2010 3:42:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy New Year! Freedom is Priceless.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick
Looks like they'll be building the new US embassy on the same ugly mud flat as this place:


Y'all remember it, don't you?

22 posted on 02/23/2010 4:19:18 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConfusedAndLovingIt

utilizing the water in the moat, combined with a chiller, might have an extremely inexpensive “chilling” effect. ;)


23 posted on 02/23/2010 4:45:00 PM PST by robomatik (III %)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

Obama’s Ministry of Truth??


24 posted on 02/23/2010 5:45:28 PM PST by jakerobins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

I was in that embassy in 2002 and met with our agricultural attache.
A staffer asked us if we had driven in from Heathrow, and we said we had. He then asked if we parked outside; close to the embassy. No we hadn’t. He said good; if you had, your car would have been destroyed up by the security folks!


25 posted on 02/23/2010 5:51:36 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (The End of an Error - 01/20/2013)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase

Our foes live in that time period.


26 posted on 02/23/2010 6:11:51 PM PST by karnage (worn arguments and old attitudes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Windflier

The Battersea power station is on the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album.


27 posted on 02/23/2010 6:41:28 PM PST by HBAR223
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick
The new embassy, on a former industrial site behind Battersea power station known for its gay clubs

I think, I know why the State dept chose this site.

28 posted on 02/23/2010 6:46:41 PM PST by razorback-bert (Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HBAR223
The Battersea power station is on the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album.

Bingo. I knew that someone would remember that.

29 posted on 02/23/2010 6:47:40 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick
I have seen several articles on this and some are saying it's estimated to cost $500 million while others are saying it's estimated to cost 1 billion. Does anyone know what the actual estimate is and why there are two different numbers being reported?
30 posted on 02/23/2010 7:34:51 PM PST by ThermoNuclearWarrior (Obama is a fraud and is ineligible for the Presidency!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian

...www.gotomeeting.com


31 posted on 02/24/2010 12:24:06 AM PST by americanophile (Good luck Team USA! Bring home the gold!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

yes, it’s in a great area


32 posted on 02/24/2010 12:25:56 AM PST by americanophile (Good luck Team USA! Bring home the gold!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

A billion dollars? Moats? Come on. Put the damn thing underground.


33 posted on 02/24/2010 12:27:26 AM PST by americanophile (Good luck Team USA! Bring home the gold!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

I think just out of central london. Probably better for everyone there.


34 posted on 02/24/2010 4:31:46 AM PST by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: colorado tanker

The building is NOT American soil. Contrary to popular opinion, embassies in foreign countries are not extensions of the owning country.


35 posted on 02/24/2010 4:33:19 AM PST by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

“The new embassy, on a former industrial site behind Battersea power station known for its gay clubs..”

I wonder how many manholes they will install at this new location?


36 posted on 02/24/2010 5:28:00 AM PST by Beaten Valve
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: manic4organic
Will they have to install minarets? It is Londonistan, after all.

In all seriousness, I wouldn't be surprised if they build the "embassy" and then turn it into a Jihad recruiting center. I'm really not kidding either.

37 posted on 02/24/2010 6:51:42 AM PST by Track9 (Old worn out suits and shoes,..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

FMC,

No worry’s, the strength of FreeRepublic is the knowledge base of the commenters.


38 posted on 02/24/2010 7:34:15 AM PST by lack-of-trust
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: lack-of-trust

True words to be sure!

I watched the coverage on a couple of networks, oddly enough they talked about the cost, BUT, did not say that the old embassy was being sold for 1B as well.

That isn’t to say I trust any of these number’s but there will be revenue from the old building, I think that should be covered when reported.

Thanks for the reply.

~FMC


39 posted on 02/24/2010 2:59:03 PM PST by Former Military Chick (Please pray for our troops as they selflessly serve in harm's way say an extra one for my beloved!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick
This is one butt ugly building.


40 posted on 02/24/2010 3:06:11 PM PST by AFreeBird
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson