London’s iconic U.S. Embassy could soon be hosting more than just diplomats.
A Qatari-owned development firm that owns the 9-story building has proposed transforming it into luxury hotel when State Department officials move out next year.
Under the plans, the old embassy would be refurbished into a 137-room five-star hotel and spa, featuring five restaurants and six high-end shops.
Barricades that were installed around the embassy after 9/11 would also be torn down.
British architect Sir David Chipperfield has been tapped to spearhead the $1.4-billion redevelopment of Finnish-American Eero Saarinen’s 1950s modernist building.
Sitting in the heart of London’s upscale Mayfair neighborhood, 24 Grosvenor Square has been America’s diplomatic home in the U.K. since the late 1950s.
But the square’s American links go back to 1785 when U.S. ambassador — and future president — John Adams rented an apartment at 9 Grosvenor Square.