THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
A property with links to America's longstanding relationship with Grosvenor Square, in London, is on the market for the first time in 50 years.
The apartment, at 5 Grosvenor Square, sits on the site of the former US Embassy. The original Embassy was located at 4 Grosvenor Square, but during extensive refurbishment work, the US government took a lease on 5 Grosvenor Square, which became the base of then US Ambassador to the UK Walter Hines Page. Half of the building became Page's residence and offices between the years of 1913 and 1918, a crucial time during World War One, in which Page's pro-British advocacy helped to convince the United States to enter the conflict on behalf of Allied forces.
During the war years, between 1915 and 1918, the half of the building not used by the Embassy was allocated as a military hospital, known as the Coulter Hospital Building, providing suites for senior military offices recovering after surgery.
Page became ill in 1918 and was forced to resign his post as US Ambassador to the Court of St James. Today, his time at 5 Grosvenor Square is commemorated by a plaque on the building. The Embassy and military left the building in 1919, when it returned to use as private residences. The current building on the site of 5 Grosvenor Square was then built in 1961, in a Neo-Georgian style in keeping with other buildings on the Square.
The US Embassy later moved to 1 Grosvenor Square in 1938, before establishing itself as the well known building at 26 Grosvenor Square, until 2017 when the new Embassy at Nine Elms was formally opened. The former Embassy at 26 Grosvenor Square is now being converted into a luxury hotel, while other diplomatic buildings in the area, including the former Canadian Embassy and US Naval Building, have been developed into further private residential homes.
The apartment is being sold by property firm Wetherells, with a guide price of £11,000,000. Peter Wetherell, the firm's Founder and Chairman, said that "This spacious and elegant 4th floor apartment has an illustrious history and was once part of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square under Ambassador Walter Hines Page who lived there between 1913-1918. Located on the favoured Eastern side of the square the apartment building at 5 Grosvenor Square is Ambassadorial in its style and design with grand marble steps lifting you from the pavement towards the impressive stone flanked Oak entrance doors."
Discussing the wider changes in the area, Wetherell added that "Once dominated by diplomatic buildings, Grosvenor Square is currently being returned to its residential origins, with buildings being converted into luxury apartments and new hotels, this transformation will make the square the best residential address in central London."
Viewing of the apartment is strictly by appointment. For more information, go to wetherell.co.uk.
For further information on the history of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, go to uk.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/rcgrsvnr.